Posted on Jun 30 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on UK Internet to be firewalled
Back in April, news emerged of an alternative plan to the controversial Digital Economy Act’s original website blocking measure, which would result in a Voluntary Code of Practice for blocking access to websites deemed to facilitate Internet copyright infringement. Last week, the UK government’s Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, held another one of his “private” meetings with representatives from ISPs and rights holders including the Premier League, the Publishers Association, the Motion Picture Association and music industry executives. Only one consumer group was asked to attend, Customer Focus, the statutory consumer champion for England, Wales and Scotland.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
In the latest meeting it is understood an alliance of rights holders presented their latest working paper called ‘Addressing websites that are substantially focused on infringement’. The paper suggests that a council and expert body decide whether a website is ‘substantially focussed on infringement directly or by authorisation’ on the basis of evidence submitted by copyright owners. It is then suggested that the Application Court would be responsible for issuing a permanent injunction, which would require UK ISPs to block the infringing website.
The working paper, which allegedly came from the Rightsholder Group, was later leaked on the Internet after being sent to James Firth’s blog, who works as a data management consultant at Dalton Firth Ltd, and then published by the Open Rights Group.
The Open Right’s Group, which was refused entry to join the allusive round table meetings despite them requesting to attend in advance, argued “It is critical that policy making happens through a broad and open public debate, especially on matters that so tangibly affect rights such as access to information and freedom of expression. This is not simply about the rights of ‘sites that facilitate infringement’ or those running them. It is about the processes through which decisions are made about what you are allowed to see and do. Clumsy, quasi-judicial and unaccountable website blocking is dangerous for exactly that reason.”Read More »
Posted on Mar 28 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on How much more can the DEA withstand?
The controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA) has once again hit the headlines with news that it has been officially delayed until spring 2012 at the earliest. The news will come as no surprise to many within the industry, as the complex Act has been plagued by debate at every stage since its original conception.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
“Since the DEA passed into law there has been a considerable amount of work to do to implement the mass notification system. Secondary legislation setting out how the system will be paid for and how it will work has to be passed by Parliament. Ofcom also has to set up an appeals process” said a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
The latest delay can be attributed to a number of factors including the ongoing debate over the allocation of costs between rights holders and ISPs (Opinion.enta.net: DEA passes buck to ISPs), ongoing concerns regarding using IP addresses to ‘identify’ alleged offenders , the latest review of website blocking proposals, the Judicial Review brought by BT and TalkTalk which started this week and of course the problems Ofcom has encountered with its code of practice.Read More »
Posted on Jan 31 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA passes buck to ISPs
Back in September 2010, the UK Government Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sports (DCMS) announced its plans to force ISPs and right holders to share the costs associated with the Digital Economy Act (DEA), which was unsurprisingly met with much hostility from ISPs. It would now appear the Government has laid out its secondary legislation in parliament, in its continuing bid to tackle online copyright infringement.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
The Digital Economy Act which, let’s remember, was hastily passed back in April 2010 in the pre-election wash-up, poses to tackle unlawful file sharing with a three strikes rule by sending out warning letters and possible suspension from the Internet. The proposed law will shoulder ISPs with 25% of all costs, from Ofcom’s costs, issuing notification costs, qualifying and initial costs and case fees for the appeals body. Rights holders will take on the remaining 75%.
According to Communication Minister Ed Vaizey, the Digital Economy Act sets out to “protect the creative economy from online copyright infringement, which the industry estimates costs £400m a year”. However, our frustration comes with Vaizey’s further comments where he says these measures are expected to “benefit industry by around £200million a year and as rights holders will be the main beneficiaries, we believe our decision on costs is fair to everyone”. What? Everyone? Unless I’ve misunderstood his statement, there are two parties footing the bill here – the right holders and the ISPs. Yet it’s only the rights holders that benefit, to the tune of an estimated £200million a year. I am so keen to understand what benefits the ISPs are getting in return for shelling out for 25% of the costs. Perhaps Vaizey thinks it’s the satisfaction of knowing we’ve helped make the world a better place. Wake up, it’s getting tougher to succeed in our economy as it is! The last thing ISPs need is to be told is they now have to be penalised for providing access to the Internet, especially at a time when the Government wants ‘the market’ to bring faster access to everyone in the next few years!Read More »
Entanet has invited guest blogger Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group (ORG) to give his views on the Digital Economy Bill (DEB). Here he explains why he belives the Bill is fundamentally flawed and advises how you can change it before it makes law. We welcome his comments and encourage you to add to the debate.
Jim Killock, Executive Director, ORG
It’s time to stand up against the DEB
The Digital Economy Bill is bad. But exactly how bad, and for who, is only now being properly debated. Those following the Bill closely have known for some time that unacceptable shortcuts are being proposed to detect people accused of illicit file sharing.
Many of you will also be very clear in your own mind that it’s not possible in most cases to equate a customer’s IP address with an individual who may have infringed, yet this is exactly the approach the Digital Economy Bill tries to take. The result is that current government plans will target anyone with a computer with more than one user, or a network.
Beyond households it will, as a result, also impose substantial costs on hotels, restaurants, cafes and eateries who offer free Internet access to their customers – costs which are likely to severely disrupt their business. The Federation of Small Businesses and the British Hoteliers Association are among those raising these concerns.Read More »