Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 has shut down, over a year after a court order forced the UK’s biggest ISPs to block it and following continued action by copyright lobbyists to prevent it from operating in a fashion that was possible for the admins to continue.
“For a long time we have struggled with poor indexing of Usenet, poor numbers of reports caused by the majority of our editors dropping out & no-one replacing them. Our servers have been unstable and crashing on a regular basis meaning the NZBs & NFOs are unavailable for long periods and we don’t have the money to replace them,” reads the official goodbye message posted on the homepage.
It goes on to describe that ultimately, with only a few thousand users paying for premium accounts and not much more than 40,000 active users in total, the site simply wasn’t financially viable to continue. On top of this, thanks to the Music Publishers Association (MPA), payment providers the world over refused to work with the site.
The notice ends on a sad note that’s similar to other site closures in the past: “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 & payment partners so we complied but we never got a single complaint from the MPA. Not one.”
So instead of going through any sort of official complaints procedure that was available, the MPA took matters into its own hands and brought about a block and all sorts of other back room problems. These are the sorts of powers that by stopping SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, the net community was supposed to be free from.
The MPA isn’t the only one using them though. The MPAA and RIAA in America have been targeting payment providers of file locker and torrent search sites, trying to drive them out by making them unable to operate. Clearly the ISP blocks aren’t working, so I suppose they’re trying something else.
KitGuru Says: Perhaps this is better than the copyright lobbyists targeting individual downloaders, but not by much. Newzbin2 might have had some illegal content, but surely working with it to find a solution instead of shutting it down would be better for the industry? The site’s users are only going to go somewhere else, perhaps somewhere without a DMCA complaint system.