Digital Legal Top Stories

Newzbin2 goes offline

By | Published on Friday 30 November 2012


Newzbin2, the file-sharing community that set the web-block precedent in English law, allowing the record industry to subsequently force major ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay, has gone offline. Though it’s not the circumventable web-blocks that have led to Newzbin2’s demise, rather it was the movie and music industries’ campaign to put pressure on payment service providers to cease working with any service offering access to unlicensed content.

Newzbin2 was launched after legal action by the movie industry through the British courts forced the original Newzbin site offline. The new site was located beyond the jurisdiction of the UK courts, hence the web-blocks. The site, based on the long-established Usenet indexing network, provided links to all sorts of content, and relied on premium users who paid subscription fees to cover technical costs.

But, operators of the site say, pressure has been put on those services that accept payments on behalf of Newzbin, making it difficult to accept monies, meaning some vital upgrading work cannot be undertaken. Other factors have played their part in persuading Team Newzbin to call it a day, including a decline in the number of users contributing editorial skills, making the service less efficient, though the financial issues seem to have been key.

In a statement confirming the closure of the service, published by, the Newzbin2 operators insist that their service was actually compliant with copyright law as set out in the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ie they adhered to takedown requests when submitted by rights owners. They conclude: “The tragedy is this: unlike Newzbin1, we are 100% DMCA compliant. We have acted on every DMCA notice we received without stalling or playing games: if there was a DMCA complaint the report was gone. Period. That was a condition of our advertising and payment partners so we complied but we never got a single complaint from the MPA. Not one”.