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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Time for the DEA to get its Act together

Posted on Jun 06 2013 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Time for the DEA to get its Act together

Things have been quiet on the Digital Economy Act (DEA) front for a long time now. Our last update (Opinion: Is the DEA old before its time?) indicated that the three strikes warning letters would not ‘go live’ until early 2014, a whole 4 years after the Act was passed. Now it would seem more delays could be afoot.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The DEA was rushed through parliament at the end of Labour’s reign of power, receiving little discussion before becoming an Act – much to the dismay of ISPs and other parties across the country. It outlined a 12 month monitoring period of infringers, who would subsequently receive three warning letters before being ‘cut-off’.

Three years on from the Act being passed and it would appear the three strikes policy is no closer to being implemented, with a finger in the air guess being 2016 at the earliest. A never ending barrage of disputes over its practicalities and the sharing of costs between Rights Holders and ISPs has been its main delay.

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Is the DEA old before its time?

Posted on Jul 12 2012 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is the DEA old before its time?

We’re not fans of the DEA, that’s no secret, but it’s been two years since its ‘back door’ entry into law and we have seen very little progress. In fact last month, with the launch of it’s Initial Obligations Code, Ofcom announced that the controversial three strikes warning letters will not commence until 2014 – a whole four years after the law was passed! With so much notice, surely the most prolific infringers will have discovered even more ways to circumvent the DEA by the time it’s enforced. So we ask, is the DEA old before its time?

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The Digital Economy Act (DEA) was the brain child of Lord Mandelson who controversially passed it into UK law through the pre-parliamentary wash-up. This meant it received very little parliamentary discussion before becoming an Act – much to the dismay of ISPs and other objectors across the country. However, two years on and we’re still waiting for one of the most debated aspects of the DEA to be implemented – the three strikes policy. This will see copyright infringers receive warning letters and potentially face court action from the copyright holders and even disconnection from the Internet if they persist with their unlawful behaviour.

In Ofcom’s recent announcement of its Initial Obligations Code it states: “Ofcom will now consult on the revised draft code. Subject to further review by the European Commission, it will be laid in Parliament around the end of 2012. ISPs will then prepare to meet their obligations, and Ofcom will appoint an appeals body. Ofcom currently expects the first customer notification letters to be sent in early 2014.”

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UPDATE: ACTA rejected by European Parliament

Posted on Jul 06 2012 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on UPDATE: ACTA rejected by European Parliament

For once common sense has shone through and the European Parliament has rejected the controversial ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). An overwhelming 478 voters rejected the treaty with just 39 for and 165 abstentions, which means that neither the EU nor any member states can join the agreement. The result was met with smiles and applause as well as a number of representatives holding up boards that stated “Hello democracy, Goodbye ACTA”.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

This highly controversial agreement, which was yet another of Mandelson’s bright ideas (well in terms of pushing it through the EU anyway), was finally rejected because of its potential impact on civil liberties and due to the ambiguity of the agreement. From the start this agreement has been discussed in secret with little access to the terms of the agreement or the draft documents, until they were leaked that is.

Once the detail (or lack of it) became known, ACTA and its US counterpart SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) prompted international ‘black outs’ from major websites and organisations including Wikipedia.

The rejection of ACTA came as no real surprise to many as the Parliament representatives had in fact been advised to reject it by the ACTA Rapporteur, David Martin who said: “My strong recommendation is that we reject the ACTA treaty. This time the devil is in the lack of detail. A vague text is dangerous and we cannot guarantee that civil liberties will be protected.”

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Update: ACTA quietly slips into the UK by the back door

Posted on Feb 08 2012 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Update: ACTA quietly slips into the UK by the back door

Yet again the UK Government has pushed through controversial legislation without proper scrutiny in order to satisfy the demands of the powerful entertainment industry and to the detriment of the Internet industry.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Previously it was the DEA that was passed through hurriedly as part of the wash-up. Now ACTA (the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), which aims to establish an international trade agreement to combat the issue of counterfeit goods and establish international standards for copyright enforcement, has been passed through as part of an agriculture and fisheries meeting!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised, after news in December that the Council of the European Union had approved the treaty even though the secretive way in which this agreement has been treated was criticised. Worryingly this agreement was signed just weeks after several high profile websites including Wikipedia observed a ‘blackout’ in protest of the US Government’s proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), a similar Act that has since been postponed.

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