A year in review – What did you think of 2011?

Posted on Dec 20 2011 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on A year in review – What did you think of 2011?

It’s been a busy year for the industry with a lot of controversial topics and industry debates. Through this opinion blog we have covered many of the key issues and received a number of interesting comments from our readers. Therefore, we thought it would be beneficial to provide a review of 2011 which includes a number of opinions and comments from our partners and readers.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

1. The dreaded DEA
First on the list in our 2011 review has to be the DEA. It has continued to plague the Internet industry this year and this looks set to continue into 2012. Barely a week has gone by where the DEA has not made the industry news in one form or another but the major points to remember are as follows:

  • 25% of the costs of the three strikes rule to be covered by ISPs
  • The BT and TalkTalk judicial review which has now been granted grounds for appeal
  • The popular Hargreaves’ report which aimed to restore some of the balance with regards to copyright infringement
  • Ofcom and the Government’s u-turn on website blocking plans despite the court decision to force BT to block the Newzbin2 website.
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Poll: Which of the following issues will most greatly affect the Internet market in 2012?

Posted on Dec 05 2011 by Gemma Dickinson | 1 Comment

It’s been a busy year for the Internet industry with lots of controversial issues and news affecting ISPs, consumers and other industry bodies. We have covered many of these items on this opinion website. However, we would like to know your thoughts. Which of the issues raised in 2011 do you think will most greatly affect the Internet market in 2012? You can let us know your opinions on this by participating in our poll or by leaving us a comment below.

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Guilty without charge?

Posted on Dec 01 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Guilty without charge?

Nominet caused controversy recently when it announced its draft proposals to take down websites alleged to be facilitating copyright infringement without a court order. Despite Nominet’s insistence that this will only be applied as a last resort where there is a clear risk of “imminent serious harm”, a number of industry bodies have expressed their concern with the proposals.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

ORG (Open Rights Group), ISPA (Internet Service Providers’ Association) and LINX (London Internet Exchange) have all criticised the draft proposals on the grounds that the take down is being applied without a fair trial and there currently appears to be no appeals process.

ORG argues: “ORG’s understanding is that Nominet’s current practices fail to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention). It is an Article 6 right under the Convention to have an open fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Article 6 rights cannot be waived.”

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A trio of summer announcements for ISPs

Posted on Sep 08 2011 by Guest | Comments Off on A trio of summer announcements for ISPs

As members of ISPA (Internet Service Provider’s Association) we thought it would be very useful to gather the industry association’s thoughts on some of the latest issues to affect our industry. Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General, therefore discusses three of the most controversial issues that have been announced over the summer and explains how these issues may affect ISPs.

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General

1. Newzbin2 decision – blocking is not a silver bullet
Three announcements were made over the summer with implications for ISPA members. The first announcement was the landmark decision by the High Court in the UK ordering BT to block access to the Newzbin2 site. The site makes unlicensed film, music and applications available to its subscribers.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) brought the case to court and the judge ruled that BT had actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright and can therefore be required to block access.

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Ofcom takes an axe to the DEA on website blocking

Posted on Aug 09 2011 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment

Plans to block illegal file sharing websites first established within the controversial Digital Economy Act last year, have finally been scrapped by the government thanks to a review of the policy by Ofcom and its conclusion that the measures are ineffective.  At the same time Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced the government has accepted all 10 of the recommendations from Professor Ian Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property law.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in its official response entitled ‘Next Steps for implementation of the Digital Economy Act’, confirmed: “Following advice from Ofcom – we will not bring forward site blocking regulations under the DEA at this time. We will do more work on what other measures can be pursued to tackle online copyright infringement.” What these measures will be, however, is not mentioned.

The statement is somewhat surprising after recent news (opinion.enta.net: ISPs lose first court battle against website blocking) that the High Court had ruled in favour of the Motion Picture Association by forcing BT to block access to alleged piracy site Newzbin2 and it suggests that the government’s plans are at odds with the ruling. This is understandable when you think about the length of time and the resources it would take to bring each case to court. Many feared this ruling would be the start of a long line of court orders, with right holders dragging ISPs through the courts to get their own way. We’re now hoping this decision will help prove that blocking websites isn’t as easy as right holders make out.

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