Digital Economy Bill 2017 Update

Posted on May 03 2017 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Digital Economy Bill 2017 Update

Last week the Digital Economy Bill 2016-7 was passed by both Houses of Parliament and now receives Royal Assent which means it will be law imminently. The new legislation brings with it a number of important new implications for the industry (with some last minute changes to be aware of) so we’ve provided a summary of the key points below:

30Mbps USO scrapped in favour of 10Mbps

The 10Mbps USO for broadband has been on the cards for quite some time and its approval comes as no surprise to us. However, quite recently a proposal was passed by the House of Lords to increase this to 30Mbps by the existing 2020 deadline which seemed completely implausible to us. This has since been scrapped and the original 10Mbps confirmed; however a further clause to increase the USO has now been included. The Government will now be able to raise the USO’s minimum speed, once 75% of households have been upgraded to ‘superfast broadband’ services.

A full consultation is now expected to be held to iron out the details of the USO implementation, funding and requirements on industry.

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Is copyright infringement still a problem?

Posted on Jan 19 2017 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is copyright infringement still a problem?
Categories : Copyright, File Sharing

Four of the UK’s largest ISPs will commence the sending of ‘educational notices’ to customers suspected of unlawful copyright infringement within the next few weeks as part of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP), but is unlawful copyright infringement still a major problem in the UK? Is this latest scheme necessary? And will it effectively solve the issue?

This all stems back to the days of the highly controversial DEA (Digital Economy Act) from 2010 which proposed a ‘3 strikes’ plan to send threatening letters to identified infringers and even disconnect persistent offenders. Instead this much ‘friendlier’ approach aims to educate users about lawful alternatives. It’s also important to note that this scheme is voluntary and only encompasses the largest 4 UK ISPs at present – BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky Broadband.

However since the initial controversy of the DEA and its transition into the current VCAP scheme the market has changed quite significantly, which leads us to wonder if copyright infringement is really that big a problem now, or if the increasing popularity of so-called lawful alternative services like Netflix and Spotify have inadvertently reduced the problem without Government and industry intervention?

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Meet the author – Darren Farnden

Posted on Apr 17 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Meet the author – Darren Farnden
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It’s time to introduce Entanet’s Head of Marketing and keen Opinion author, Darren Farnden…

How long have you worked at Entanet?

I started at Entanet in April 2006 so 9 years now.

 What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?

I run Entanet’s small but truly dynamic marketing team. A member of the management team, I’m responsible for ensuring we translate the company’s strategic direction into a plan that supports the business internally and our channel partners externally. This means we take ownership of everything from maintaining a high profile in the market, providing our own sales team and also partners with support and intelligence to help them sell, right through to communication with existing partners and attracting new ones and nurturing their interest. We’re sometimes fondly known as the colouring in department but we know we’d be missed.

With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?

I cover quite a range of subjects – obviously anything directly linked to marketing such as the growing opportunities for resellers in social media, adhering to connectivity advertising rules and several of our selling related guides and eBooks. I’ve also previously discussed the Government’s plans to tackle copyright infringement through the controversial DEA and most recently discussed the pros and cons of classifying broadband as a utility.

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2014 – The Best Bits of Opinion

Posted on Dec 17 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2014 – The Best Bits of Opinion
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

As avid readers of our Opinion blog we’re sure you’re already aware of the major issues that have plagued the industry over the last 12 months, but just in case you missed any our latest eBook gives you a quick recap of the best, and most important, bits.

It covers the ongoing data retention debacle, the increasing pressure on ISPs regarding security, the legal protection for net neutrality, the unexpected ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling, the never ending fight against piracy and the expected role of ISPs, ISPAs plans to improve the ADR system and a look at the key trends of 2014!

You can download it for free

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GUEST BLOG: ORG successfully adds ‘safeguards’ to latest trade mark blocking case

Posted on Oct 28 2014 by Guest | Comments Off on GUEST BLOG: ORG successfully adds ‘safeguards’ to latest trade mark blocking case

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

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.

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Digital karma strikes for U2!

Posted on Sep 17 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Digital karma strikes for U2!
Categories : Copyright, File Sharing

Way waaay back in 2010 U2 frontman Bono annoyed many within the industry with his ranting warnings about the ‘evils of the Internet’ and he put the blame firmly in the hands of us ‘greedy ISP types.’

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

He was of course talking about piracy stating “A decade’s worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators — in this case, the young, fledgling songwriters who can’t live off ticket and T-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us — and the people this reverse Robin Hooding benefits are rich service providers, whose swollen profits perfectly mirror the lost receipts of the music business.” “Rich service providers” and “swollen profits”- we wish!

In response we, amongst other ISPs and industry bodies, argued that rather than blame the Internet for the downfall of their industry and continue to fight against it, artists should embrace the opportunities it can bring and utilise it to help distribute and promote their work. After all, the Internet is just the latest vehicle for piracy and copyright infringement – kids had been recording direct from the radio and duplicating tapes long before the days of the World Wide Web! However, despite our best efforts, our advice appeared to go unheard and the debate continued on.

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The A-Z of industry issues (part 2)

Posted on Jul 02 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on The A-Z of industry issues (part 2)

Here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for……the second part of our A-Z, or should that be K-Z of industry issues!

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

K – Kids and protecting them online

How do we effectively protect our children online? Where does parental responsibility end and parental controls begin? It’s a fine balancing act and an important one. Whilst we commend the largest consumer focused ISPs for providing free parental controls to help guard against unsuitable material for minors, it’s not the end of the story. This needs to be backed up with education and parental responsibility. This site contains some useful advice: http://www.saferinternet.org/safer-internet-day.

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The A-Z of industry issues (Part 1)

Posted on Jun 25 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on The A-Z of industry issues (Part 1)

We cover a great deal of topical industry matters on this blog so as a quick overview and update, here is an (almost) complete A-Z to highlight some of the most controversial ones that we discuss regularly and that you might be interested in or at least should be aware of…

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

A – ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Back in 2012 OFCOM announced its plans to change the current ADR system for ISPs to make it more consistent. With the current system, very similar complaints can be dealt with very differently leading to dissatisfaction for the ISPs and the complainants. Little news has followed this announcement as OFCOM continued to gather feedback on the proposals but in March 2014 ISPA echoed our original perspective and called for changes to the cost allocation of the disputes as ISPs are usually left to pay for the ADR charges even when they win their cases. This is one to keep an eye on and we will provide updates as further news is announced.

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Arrrrrr – there be threatening letters ahead!

Posted on May 14 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Arrrrrr – there be threatening letters ahead!

Since the early days of the DEA we (and the rest of the industry) have debated the proposed and highly controversial methods of dealing with persistent copyright infringers, or ‘pirates’ as they’ve been referred to. The DEA planned to track persistent offenders by IP address (first mistake) and send them a series of warning letters advising them to cease their activities or potentially face disconnection of their service and possibly legal action from the copyright holders.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

However, with changes in Government, a number of judicial reviews and ongoing industry argument, this part of the DEA hit delay after delay and as of yet still hasn’t been implemented – until now that is…

Ok, so it’s not actually the DEA that’s coming into force. It’s a voluntary agreement (VCAP – Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme) between the largest ISPs and several members of the entertainment industry which will see ‘persistent infringers’ receive a series of warning letters advising them to stop. They hope to have the system up and running before the end of the year.

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2013 – The year of unrealistic plans

Posted on Dec 18 2013 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on 2013 – The year of unrealistic plans

This year hasn’t been too shabby for the UK. We witnessed the proud moment when Andy Murray lifted the Wimbledon trophy in July and subsequently winning Sports Personality of the year. We also waited in anticipation as Prince George was presented to the world by William and Kate.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Meanwhile in the UK comms industry, it seems the year has been full of the Government’s unrealistic plans. Here’s a little reminder of some of the key events.

The Snooper’s Charter

The draft Communications Data Bill, also known as the “snoopers’ charter” was first proposed by the Home Office back in June 2012. It was described as a ‘vital tool’ to help police and snoopers catch paedophiles, terrorists and other serious criminals.

The Bill, which expanded on the existing Internet snooping laws (RIPA), required ISPs to collate information by law on the activities of customers and store the information for up to a year. Authorisation to access this information was self-authorised by senior members of the police, intelligence agencies and the tax agency.

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