BT is to challenge a request from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) requesting the internet service provider (ISP) block access to the web site Newzbin2 over alleged infringement of copyright laws.
Newzbin2 is accused of making films such as The King's Speech available for download in breach of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act.
Sources close to the case confirmed to V3.co.uk that BT would be contesting the order during the three-day hearing, after which the judgement will be made.
BT itself acknowledged the case was taking place and gave some more insight into the details around the challenge.
"The MPA is seeking a court order under s97a of the Copyright Act requiring BT to prevent our users accessing the Newzbin2 site, which they claim is overwhelmingly associated with copyright infringement," BT said.
This is the first case of its kind in the UK. BT is the only defendant, presumably because it is the largest ISP in the country. Similar cases have been heard in other European member states, most notably concerning The Pirate Bay.
Robin Fry, partner at law firm Beachcroft LLP, told V3.co.uk the MPA challenge would most likely fail due to the MPA using the Copyright Act to bring its case while it waits for the implementation of the DEA.
"It's a very speculative case and BT has been adamant it's not their role to police the information across their networks," he said.
"Newzbin2 do no more than Google could do in searching out links to illegal content - but in a more embarrassing and aggressive fashion. The copyright legislation controls people who 'authorise' infringement but doesn't stretch as far as the MPA demand."
Web site blocking could become a far more common approach for rights holders in the future as the Digital Economy Act, which recently saw off its last possible legal challenge from BT and TalkTalk, contains provisions for this strategy.
Ofcom is currently reviewing the ways in which such a system could be implemented, revealing that it has spent around £100,000 on this work to date.
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