Posts Tagged ‘File Sharing’

Mandelson – New master of the digital economy?

Posted on Nov 23 2009 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Last month (here) we discussed Mandelson’s announcement at the ‘C&binet Conference’ regarding the tackling of illegal file sharers and his continued proposal of a three strikes system. These proposals have now progressed further with the release of the Digital Economy Bill.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The bill covers a number of issues but the key features affecting ISPs and broadband users are as follows:

  1. 1. ISPs will be forced to provide written warnings to alleged illegal file sharers when alerted to do so by the copyright holders. Additionally, ISPs will be required to record how many warnings the accused customers have received and feed this back to the rights holders.
  2. 2.The Secretary of State (currently Mandelson) will be given new powers to update the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in order to react to changes in technology more quickly. The powers will be exercised by statutory instrument rather than primary legislation which means although the proposals will need to be debated in the Houses of Parliament and will be subject to public consultation the MPs and Lords cannot block them.
  3. The Register: Filesharing laws to hit websites and newsgroups too
  4. 3. The use of orphan networks will be allowed where the rights holder cannot be found or identified.
  5. 4. The government will be given the power to reform and restructure Nominet, the body responsible for domain names in the UK. This follows recent board resignations.
  6. The Register: Mandelson to get Nominet reform powers
  7. 5. Ofcom will be assigned new duties to promote investment in the UK communications infrastructure and will be required to assess this every two years.

Alongside other ISPs, Entanet has voiced concerns over this policy for some time now but it appears that Mandelson has finally got his way – although the bill has not actually made it into law yet. Once the Digital Economy Bill is on the statute books ISPs will be forced to send written warnings to alleged copyright infringers at the request of the copyright holder. As expected the suspected users will be identified by the copyright holders using IP addresses from BitTorrent. The ISPs will then be required to record the number of warnings each suspected user receives and supply this information to the copyright holders. If the copyright holder wants further information on a particular persistent offender they will require a court order.

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Mandelson’s mindless meddling infuriates Internet industry

Posted on Oct 29 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Mandelson’s mindless meddling infuriates Internet industry

Once again Lord Mandelson has sparked anger amongst ISPs by announcing that the controversial three strikes policy for tackling illegal file sharing will be adopted in the UK by April 2010, despite ongoing criticism from the Internet industry.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Speaking at the ‘C&binet Conference‘, Mandelson announced that if the amount of illegal downloading had not dropped by 70% come April 2011 following the introduction of the new proposals (which include bandwidth squeezing and download caps), then further harsh measures including the disconnection of file sharers would be imposed from July 2011. Whilst the use of disconnection is expected to remain a ‘last resort’ measure, the news has once again infuriated the Internet industry.

Since the conception of these proposals Entanet has voiced its concerns and, following Mandelson’s announcement, ISP TalkTalk said that it would “continue to resist any attempts to make it impose technical measures on its customers” and has set up a campaign called “Don’t Disconnect Us” to lobby against the plans.

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Guilty until proven innocent is wrong approach to file sharing

Posted on Sep 01 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Guilty until proven innocent is wrong approach to file sharing

Government plans to make ISPs responsible for cutting off suspected file sharers in an effort to curb online piracy of films and music have come in for a lot of criticism. Not only is the move seen as placing unfair onus on ISPs to monitor, manage and control the activities of their customers, but it has also been seen as a move likely to lead to many users being unjustly excluded from using the Internet.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Even Which? magazine, much admired for standing up for the rights of consumers and ensuring that they get a fair deal, has said that it will call on the government to ensure that it has a much more rigorous method in place for identifying those who are file sharing and those who are not.

One of the problems of course, is that it is very difficult to be certain of exactly what users are doing and whether or not their activities once they have downloaded a file are illegal or not. Simply tracking an IP address that appears to be downloading a lot of material, then passing that information to the ISP with the insistence that they investigate or even prevent them having access, would be unfair and inadequate. Yet that is exactly what the government is planning to do at present.

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The Pirates of . . . Sweden

Posted on Apr 22 2009 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

If you haven’t heard about the Pirate Bay case then you must have been living in a box (or should that be treasure chest) for the last month or so as the story has been all over the industry news. But just in case you don’t know what happened, here is a quick recap.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

On 17th April 2009 a Swedish court found the four founders of The Pirate Bay, a website that distributes links to files that can be downloaded and shared via P2P clients, guilty of assisting file sharing of copyrighted material. They were each sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to pay £2.4million in damages to the entertainment industry. However latest news reports have announced they plan to launch an appeal.

Unsurprisingly the verdict has received mixed emotions from the various parties affected. The entertainment industry has come out in force to support the ruling hailing it a triumph, whilst a large amount of pro-file sharing protestors hit the streets of Stockholm in outrage.

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Are YOU on the list?

Posted on Sep 08 2008 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

An increasing number of broadband end users are being approached by law firms such as Davenport Lyons under suspicion of illegal file sharing and, if you are a broadband provider, you need to know what’s going on and how this issue affects you and your customers.

What’s been going on?

No-one denies that illegal file sharing is an issue that should be pursued by the courts however the way in which it is currently being tackled is far from perfect. Over recent months there have been cases where opportunistic law firms identified illegal file sharers, obtained court orders which require the ISP to provide the customer’s details and then sent letters to those customers demanding payments of £300+ or risk being taken to court.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Unsurprisingly, many customers when faced with one of these letters may simply choose to pay up in the hope that this will be the end of the matter. But how accurately are these customers being identified? There have been numerous cases of inaccuracies resulting in the wrong customers being served with these intimidating letters. Just one example of this is Euan MacLay who received an email from abuse@pipex.net accusing him of illegally downloading an episode of Stargate Atlantis six months after he moved away from the company. It was eventually found that his IP address had been reassigned and the service provider’s records had not been updated.

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