MPAA Threatens to Sue Newzbin

WASHINGTON - The Motion Picture Association of America has threatened legal action against Usenet indexing site Newzbin, creator of the NZB format.

Newzbin is expected to undergo momentous changes in order to placate the MPAA, according to TorrentFreak.

The NZB format, which can be considered Usenet's version of the torrent file, makes it easier to download from Usenet.

"Newzbin has today received a letter from the Motion Picture Association," Newzbin administrator Caesium said on May 22. "In the letter, they claim that some editors may be reporting material from Usenet that is infringing the copyright of their members.

"While these claims have not been substantiated, it should be noted that Newzbin does not condone the distribution or indexing of such materials. We will immediately act to remove any items that are found to be infringing copyright.

"Please take a moment to refer to our terms and conditions, in particular, sections 4 and 4.2. Please note that we may revoke privileges, or ban accounts, of users found to be violating these terms and conditions."

The announcement apparently cover terms and conditions that have been in place since 2007, rather than addressing any new items.

Newzbin, a United Kingdom-based service that charges users for access, said it does not condone the indexing of copyrighted works and appears to conform to laws in place in the U.K. The service said it will eliminate anything resembling copyright infringement.

The MPAA is responsible for closing down several U.S.-based NZB sites and compelling others to regulate operations.

Newzbin has not been sued, but it will have to alter its operations to satisfy the movie industry and its stipulations, TorrentFreak reported.