Posts Tagged ‘File Sharing’

DEA: The debate continues…

Posted on Aug 05 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA: The debate continues…

In April 2010 the controversial Digital Economy Bill (DEB) was passed through the parliamentary wash-up and hastily implemented into law, much to the annoyance of many ISPs, Internet users and industry bodies. Then in May we saw history made with a new coalition government taking power. We were initially hopeful that the new government would put right the wrongs of the rushed DEA (Digital Economy Act) but have since seen little in the way of progress. Yet despite this lack of government action, over the last three months the industry news has continued to provide a steady stream of DEA related updates. We take a look at what’s been going on and provide you with an update.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

To repeal or not to repeal?

It appears the proposed tackling of copyright infringement is still the main focus of unease within the DEA. At the end of June, Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert, tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) to repeal sections 9 – 18, the sections that cover the issue of illegal copyright infringement. Unfortunately the EDM gained little support and appears to have dropped off the radar.

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Irish music firm bullies ISP into four strikes policy

Posted on May 28 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Irish music firm bullies ISP into four strikes policy

Ireland has become the first nation to introduce a controversial three strikes (well actually four strikes) policy in order to tackle illegal file sharing. The move will see Eircom, the country’s largest ISP, target alleged offenders based on IP address information supplied by IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association). What makes this particularly concerning is that this ‘policy’ has been introduced following court action against Eircom which saw IRMA win their claim that “Eircom was not doing enough to protect the intellectual property of its [IRMA’s] members.”

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Eircom has now been forced to implement the controversial four strikes policy which will consist of a letter to the alleged culprit followed by a phone call from a dedicated team at Eircom (no prizes for guessing who will pick up the tab for all of this). If the activity persists the customer will be disconnected from the Internet for a week and, if that still does not deter them, they will be disconnected for a whole year. The policy will be reviewed after 3 months when even tougher rules could be implemented including permanent disconnection.

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Out with the old and in with the new

Posted on May 20 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Out with the old and in with the new

What does the new coalition government have in store for the Internet industry?

Well this month has seen history made with the formation of our new coalition government. As David Cameron and Nick Clegg start out on their new partnership we take a look at each party’s previous stance on several topical industry issues and suggest how we think the new coalition government will go about tackling them.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Reviewing the DEA

Let’s start with one of the industry’s biggest issues. The DEA (Digital Economy Act) has been one of the most talked about topics with debate starting right back at its conception, but the most infuriating thing of all about the DEB was the ridiculous way in which this controversial Bill was rushed through the wash-up and into law.

During the election campaign the Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg stated that he believed this was a “stitch-up”. He said “We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their Internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited.”

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Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Posted on Apr 26 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Secrecy shroud lifted on Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

The controversial secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) discussions has finally been cleared as last week the EU published working text from the last round of discussions held in Wellington, New Zealand earlier this month.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Previously the Governments involved have been severely criticised for the secretive manner in which the talks have been held and their refusal to publish any details. After two years they have finally backed down and a working text document has been released. We expressed our concerns regarding this issue in our previous opinion article:

The working text document starts by positioning the purpose of the talks stating “The ACTA initiative aims to establish international standards for enforcing intellectual property rights in order to fight more efficiently the growing problem of counterfeiting and piracy.”

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Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

Posted on Apr 19 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

It’s election time and at the moment you can’t turn on the TV, read a newspaper or listen to the radio without being reminded of that fact. Last week saw the launch of several political parties’ election manifestos and whilst the majority of them (notably not the Pirate Party UK) cover a wide range of topical issues we have focussed our investigation on what each party has to say about Digital Britain and the Internet industry. Here is what we found:

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

In the red corner: The Incumbents – Labour

Let’s start with the incumbents, Labour. In the past they have been very vocal about their plans for a Digital Britain and their aims to make the UK a world leader in this area. Only last week they controversially rushed through the Digital Economy Bill, now Act (Entanet Opinion: Digital Economy Bill: The end is nigh…). So what are their plans regarding the Internet and Digital Britain if they are re-elected?

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Internet industry unites to condemn amendment 120A

Posted on Mar 16 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Internet industry unites to condemn amendment 120A

If there is one thing the Digital Economy Bill has successfully created so far, its controversy. The Bill is still going through the reading stages of the House of Lords and yet every week it appears to spark a new industry argument. The latest being the addition of amendment 120A, which has united the Internet industry in its condemnation.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Lord Clement-Jones and Lord Razzall proposed the amendment as an alternative to clause 17, which originally awarded substantial powers to the Secretary of State, a fundamental area of concern for many within the industry.  We covered the concerns in detail in our earlier opinion article – Mandelson – New master of the digital economy? (Entanet Opinion: Mandelson – New master of the digital economy?). However the Lords’ proposed solution has sparked an equal amount of furious debate.

Amendment 120A could force ISPs to block access to websites where “a substantial proportion of the content accessible at or via each specified online location infringes copyright.” One of the main concerns is that this amendment provides the rights holders with an unfair bias in such cases. Now surprise, surprise we discover the proposal by the Lords was in fact sourced from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry)!

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ACTA secrecy breeds suspicion

Posted on Mar 02 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on ACTA secrecy breeds suspicion

Meddling Mandelson faces furore from MPs

The secrecy surrounding the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) talks is causing fury amongst MPs across political parties. The Government (Lord Mandelson and David Lammy) has refused to place the documents regarding the ACTA talks in the House of Commons Library because of other countries requests for secrecy, much to the annoyance of the UK MPs.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

This is particularly important because whilst Mandelson and Lammy are involved in the secret ACTA talks they are also negotiating the Digital Economy Bill’s entry into UK law. If the leaked details of the ACTA talks are to be believed these new agreements will have a significant impact on the DEB which is already causing large amounts of controversy.

So what is the ACTA?

The ACTA is a proposed trade agreement between participating countries to establish international standards on protecting intellectual property from copyright infringement. The UK is joined in the talks by the US, Japan, the EC, Australia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and several others.

David Lammy defends the government’s secrecy by explaining how publicising details of the ACTA discussions could damage the UK’s relations with the rest of the involved nations, stating “this would harm our ability to protect, promote and secure an outcome in the UK’s interest, and the premature release of documents that are not agreed and not fully developed may also have a negative effect on the government’s reputation.”

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Are YOU on the list? – Update

Posted on Jan 28 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Are YOU on the list? – Update

In one of our early opinion articles back in September 2008, we highlighted the practices of a law firm (Davenport Lyons) who were sending out a number of threatening letters to alleged illegal file sharers demanding a settlement fee of over £300 or threatening court action. The law firms antics were picked up by the consumer group Which? who responded by reporting the firm to the SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority).

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Yesterday’s news reports suggest Which? has identified another law firm operating this practice. In November 2009 a ruling by the Royal Courts of Justice granted ACS the ability to demand the personal details of thousands of customers from ISPs. These customers are once again accused of illegal file sharing and once again Which? has come to their rescue. The accused customers are receiving letters demanding between £300 and £500 or face the threat of court action. Which? argues that many of those targeted have been wrongly accused (again) and as we stated in our original article (Are YOU on the list?) this could well be the case as the law firm and copyright holders are identifying the illegal file sharers using IP addresses which can be easily hijacked and spoofed.

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Bono – stick to singing!

Posted on Jan 05 2010 by Darren Farnden | 6 Comments

In a recent opinion article of his own within the New York Times, U2 front man Bono warned all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet, especially us greedy ISP types.

He states “The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files. The immutable laws of bandwidth tell us we’re just a few years away from being able to download an entire season of “24” in 24 seconds. Many will expect to get it free.” A tad over dramatic but he’s probably right on that one.

However he continues “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.”

This statement just goes to show why multi-millionaire Bono should stick to singing and campaigning for poorer nations and leave the economics of Internet service provision to the professionals. Those of us within this supposedly swollen, profit rich Internet industry are more than aware of the reality. Consumer demand for the cheapest, fastest broadband continues to increase resulting in even lower profit margins for us “greedy” ISPs.

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2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

Posted on Dec 09 2009 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on 2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

As we approach the end of an eventful year I thought it would be apt to take a look back over the main industry talking points of 2009 to evaluate what happened, why we were discussing it and where we are currently at. When we have completed that let’s take a stab at predicting what we will be discussing in 2010.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The ‘hottest’ topic of 2009 was undoubtedly illegal file sharing

We first covered this subject back in April with an article discussing the Pirate Bay case. The four founders of the website ‘The Pirate Bay’ were found guilty in a Swedish court for assisting the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.  They were each sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to pay £2.4million in damages to the entertainment industry. This was the catalyst that started the raging debate between the entertainment industry, the government and ISPs which continues to this date. The entertainment industry and a number of high profile MPs, in particular Peter Mandelson, are calling for a three strikes and you’re cut-off policy. However, ISPs have continuously raised concerns regarding the accuracy of correctly identifying offenders and the fact that cutting a user off is presuming guilt before a fair trial with minimal and potentially flawed evidence.

This topic continued to be covered for several months and was once again inflamed with the release of the Digital Britain Report which actually advised against a three strikes policy, much to the annoyance of the entertainment industry.

So where are we at now?

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