Posts Tagged ‘File Sharing’

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 a breach of our civil rights?

Posted on Jun 15 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is the DEA a breach of our civil rights?

Criticism of the DEA (Digital Economy Act) appears to be limitless and has now stretched as far as the United Nations. The UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) has released a statement that condemns policies such as our ‘beloved’ DEA which, it says, seek to disconnect people from the Internet, branding them as ‘disproportionate’ and a ‘violation of article 19, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.’

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Frank La Rue, the UNHRC’s Special Rapporteur said: “The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned by discussions regarding a centralized ‘on/off’ control over Internet traffic. In addition, he is alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three strikes-law” in France and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.

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Poll: ISPA Awards 2011 Villain of the year – who would you vote for?

Posted on Jun 07 2011 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: ISPA Awards 2011 Villain of the year – who would you vote for?

Recently, the UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) officially announced the finalists for its 2011 Internet Hero and Internet Villain awards. Both categories recognise those who have either done the most or least to help the Internet Industry. This year, ISPA’s finalists are:

Internet Hero Finalists

  • Rory Stewart MP – For his trailblazing efforts to bring broadband to his rural constituency of Penrith and the Borders
  • Twitter – For its role in helping people communicate during the Arab spring
  • Judge Colin Birss QC – For his considered and damning judgement on the ACS Law that it was “chaotic and lamentable”
  • The Australian Internet Industry Association – For taking the lead and launching a voluntary industry code on infected machines in Australia
  • Prof. Ian Hargreaves – For authoring a review that makes recommendations on how IP can be made fitter for the digital age
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Professor Hargreaves restores the balance

Posted on May 23 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Professor Hargreaves restores the balance

The UK’s IP (Intellectual Property) law has been knowingly out of date for many years and, as the Internet becomes of increasing importance to our day to day lives and our business practices, an overhaul of the IP laws which were first conceived several hundred years ago are well overdue. This, coupled with the forthcoming implementation of the DEA, means the Government has had little choice but to review the current legislation. It therefore called upon Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cardiff University to conduct an in depth review and last week he published his much anticipated report.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Hargreaves estimates that changes to the Intellectual Property systems could add £7.9 billion to the UK’s economy. He stated “In recent years the UK has failed to make the changes needed to modernise copyright law, for which we will pay an increasing economic price as we make our way into the third decade of the commercial internet. My recommendations are designed to enhance the economic potential of the UK’s creative industries and ensure that the emergence of high technology businesses, especially smaller businesses, in other sectors is not impeded by our IP laws.”

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DEA: The weaknesses of plan B

Posted on Apr 07 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA: The weaknesses of plan B

Towards the end of last week, news emerged that an alternative option was being discussed in order to replace the existing Digital Economy Act’s website blocking measure. The UK government’s Ministers of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey has officially invited the Open Rights Group (ORG), rights holders and ISPs to look at a new ‘plan B’ approach which could mean ISPs blocking access to websites deemed to facilitate Internet copyright infringement based on a central blacklist.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Plans were first formalised through a meeting late February with rights holders and ISPs, which led to the creation of a working group that would investigate site-blocking systems. The working group is said to be meeting the first week of April. Jim Killock, Executive Director of the ORG said the discussions had been prompted by delays to the DEA.

Such plans would see responsibility for the monitoring of websites being passed to the newly established independent body that would manage a blacklist of piracy websites. ISPs would then voluntarily filter out the websites said to be infringing copyright. The benefit of this, of course, would be to copyright holders who would only need to make a complaint once to the independent body rather than to each ISP. An initial list of around 100 illegal downloading sites has already been drawn up by rights holders, including the likes of Pirate Bay and Newbin2.

The plan B approach has been compared to the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF), which collects and investigates reports of child abuse material online. It then distributes a blacklist of web addresses to ISPs who voluntarily use it to filter virtually all UK consumer Internet access. The new plans would mean ISPs would not be responsible for checking complaints made by copyright holders against websites.

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Poll: Should the demise of ACS:Law affect the DEA?

Posted on Feb 17 2011 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 1 Comment

In a recent article published by Thinkbroadband.com, they state that Judge Birss, has raised questions over the reliability of the DEA using IP addresses to identify copyright owners. The judge, who is well known for the case against ACS:Law and MediaCAT, declared that using IP addresses would only identify a wireless home broadband router and questioned whether leaving a wireless network unsecured, equated to authorising it to be used for file sharing.

We think the demise of ACS:Law shows that judgements based on IP addresses are unreliable and open to abuse. Should this therefore force the government to rethink the DEA, which could potentially open the UK up to more ACS:Law type activities in the future.

We would like to know what you think about Judge Birss’ concerns. Therefore, we have added a new poll asking for your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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That was the year that was!

Posted on Dec 22 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on That was the year that was!

What an eventful year 2010 has proven to be! We saw a new coalition Government take power; we lost yet another World Cup; we saw a number of terrible natural disasters including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods; volcanic ash grounded our planes; students rioted over tuition fees; the iPhone 4 and iPad were launched; and the winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. But enough about all that – what happened in the Internet industry? Our recap of 2010 highlights some of the most topical issues that affected the industry this year.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The most controversial of them all
Let’s start with arguably the most controversial story of the year – the Digital Economy Bill. We started covering this highly controversial topic back in 2009 but during 2010 we saw this Bill become an Act (DEA) as it was hastily pushed through the pre-election wash-up, much to the dismay of its opponents, which include Entanet. However, there is some good news. A judicial review called for by BT and TalkTalk was granted in November and is expected to be held in April 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s supporters are opposing the review and continue to insist that it is satisfactory. Just last week news broke that FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has organised an event at the House of Commons on 12th January 2011 to ‘discuss’ the topics surrounding the DEA well before the full hearing is expected.

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DEA – Finally, time for some common sense!

Posted on Nov 11 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA – Finally, time for some common sense!

Since the moment the DEA (Digital Economy Act) was passed, when it was hastily rushed through the ‘wash-up’ prior to the general election earlier this year, Entanet and other opposing bodies have been calling for a review. Yesterday the High Court finally announced that a judicial review has been granted.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The leaders of the DEA opposition have undoubtedly been BT and TalkTalk who jointly requested this review through the courts, arguing the bill was passed without proper scrutiny. Throughout the process they have been supported by a number of ISPs and wholesale communications providers including Entanet, aswell as organisations such as the Open Rights Group (ORG). Commenting on yesterday’s announcement TalkTalk’s Executive Director, Andrew Heaney, said:

“We are very pleased that the Court has recognised that our concerns about the copyright infringement provisions in the Digital Economy Act should be considered in a full hearing. The Act was rushed through Parliament in the ‘wash-up’ with only 6% of MPs attending the brief debate and has very serious flaws.

The provisions to try to reduce illegal file sharing are unfair, won’t work and will potentially result in millions of innocent customers who have broken no law suffering and having their privacy invaded.

We look forward to the hearing to properly assess whether the Act is legal and justifiable and so ensure that all parties have certainty on the law before proceeding.”

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UPDATE: Irish ISP stands up to music firms

Posted on Oct 18 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on UPDATE: Irish ISP stands up to music firms

Back in May we discussed how Eircom, Ireland’s largest ISP, had been forced into agreeing to implement a 3 strikes policy to tackle illegal copyright infringement following legal action by the IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association). At the time we were concerned that such a ruling would mean other Irish ISPs would soon be forced to follow suit. However news this week suggests the contrary.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

UPC, Ireland’s second largest ISP, has won its own battle against four major record companies, namely Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI Records. The High Court in Dublin ruled “there was no precedent in Irish law to force ISPs to identify and disconnect people accused of illegally downloading copyrighted files” meaning UPC cannot be forced to take part in the system.

The current three strikes policy implemented by Eircom consists of an informal warning at the first stage, a stern warning letter at the second and then disconnection form the Internet for 7 days at the third stage. If the user persists then disconnection for one year may be applied.

However, in his ruling, Mr Justice Peter Charleton condemned piracy stating: “This not only undermines the [record companies’] business but ruins the ability of a generation of creative people in Ireland, and elsewhere, to establish a viable living. It is destructive of an important native industry.”

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Update: U2 – Stick to the Music!

Posted on Sep 06 2010 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing.  We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It would appear that U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, didn’t read our opinion as he’s now thrown in his two cents worth of comment within the August issue of GQ magazine. In it he also slams ISPs for “decimating the music industry” and profiteering from online file sharing, whilst also being the cause of recorded music sales falling.

Like Bono, Mr. McGuinness believes illegal file sharing is the reason for ISPs’ increasing profit margins by suggesting “free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries”.  However, as we stated in our original Opinion article ‘Bono – Stick to Singing’ (opinion.enta.net: Bono – Stick to singing), in reality broadband customers continue to demand the fastest broadband at the lowest price which squeezes ISPs’ margins. Those of us within the Internet industry will also know that it is actually more costly to support such infringers due to the extra bandwidth they consume. Our increasing revenues are more likely to be down to the innovative new technologies we deploy and the additional services we provide to add value to customers’ experience.

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