The ongoing fight against online infringement has taken a new twist as Cartier International, owners of the luxury Mont Blanc and Cartier brands, has won its case in the High Court to force ISPs to block access to websites allegedly infringing its trade mark. Until now only copyright infringers (such as music and film distributors) have been pursued in this manner. Elizabeth Knight, Open Rights Group’s (ORG) Legal Director, explains her initial concerns about this new development and the safeguards suggested by ORG that have now been accepted by the judge:
Elizabeth Knight, ORG Legal Director
Blocking websites for trade mark ‘infringement’
The High Court has now decided on this case and instructed the largest UK ISPs to block the reported websites for alleged trade mark infringement. The case was brought by Cartier International and related companies who were seeking an order to force BSkyB, BT, EE, TalkTalk and VirginMedia to block a number of websites that it has claimed have been using the brands’ trade marks for counterfeiting activity. Read More »
We’ve argued that good and sensible parenting is key when it comes to children’s safe Internet use for quite some time but it seems a recent survey by The Parent Zone and the Oxford Internet Institute has now echoed our opinions. In their survey of 2000 14-17 year olds they found that restricting kids’ Internet usage through the use of parental controls is not as effective as good parenting and allowing them to self-regulate their own online usage.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
Following ongoing pressure from the Government, most of the major residential focused ISPs now provide parental control options as standard to help parents regulate their children’s Internet usage, however these filters have their pitfalls. They have been known to accidentally block access to legitimate sites due to poor categorisation and errors and they are quite easy to circumvent using proxy websites or VPNs – something the child possibly has more knowledge of than the parent! Read More »
Bandwidth consumption is growing at a pretty amazing rate as we utilise the Internet’s protocol either publicly or privately more and more throughout our daily lives. Forecasters predict emerging trends such as M2M (machine to machine), the ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘wearable devices’ will fuel that ever increasing demand for bandwidth even further.
Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager
In its latest Visual Networking Index Forecast, Cisco predicts over 1.4 zettabytes of data will be flowing over global networks by 2017. It’s easy to see how this immense amount of data could be reached when you consider that, according to Nielsen’s law of Internet Bandwidth, users’ bandwidth grows by 50% per year (10% less than Moore’s Law) and Cisco predicts around 3.6 billion people are expected to be online by 2017 (up from 2.3 billion currently). Read More »
A recent survey by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau found that over the past 12 months 30% of small businesses have experienced problems with their phone and broadband services leaving them unsatisfied. So we ask, is broadband still suitable for business use?
Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales
Gillian Guy, CEO of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau said “Poor broadband services are costing small firms business…A reliable broadband service is essential for firms to be able to operate.” The research found that almost 25% of small businesses have complained about service problems with 92% of complaints focusing on stability problems or total loss of service.
However, at the end of the day there is only so much that can be done to improve the broadband service for SMEs, after all by its nature broadband is a contended service with no service guarantees or SLAs and its performance is dependent on many factors such as internal wiring, distance from the exchange etc.
That being said, Ofcom have launched their own plans to improve the provision of broadband services for SMEs. Their own data showed more positive results, stating that 85% of SMEs believe they are well served by the UK market but there are still issues and Ofcom hopes its new plan will make high quality digital communications more accessible to SMEs. Read More »
The ‘superfast broadband’ rollout has regularly come under fire for its focus on utilising FTTC rather than FTTP/H to deliver superfast services to 100% of the UK population by 2017, but is the lack of FTTP coverage simply due to the ongoing rock bottom price war we are seeing across the broadband market?
Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer
While FTTC delivers superfast broadband speeds to its customers of up to 80Mbps, critics argue that this is not future-proof enough to accommodate our ever increasing demands and we should be aiming to implement FTTP which delivers speeds of up to 330Mbps. However, FTTP coverage is currently very limited and the initial target of delivering the service to 2.5 million premises was cut back in 2013, due to its expensive and more difficult installation. Read More »