For the backstory to the upload filter check my book The Closing of the Net - PAPERBACK OR KINDLE - £15.99!

Digital Britain

Britain has traditionally been  influential in European policy for telecoms and online content. It is not as loud as France, but in a quieter way, lets its views be known. British  policy was the point from which the EU has taken  its lead, notably in trying to establish a competitive telecoms market, where  the British influence on telecoms policy has been markedly  evident. Britain's competitive telecoms policy was established in the 1980s and 1990s, and has subsequently been implemented by successive governments. Britain now arguably has the most competitive telecoms market globally. It risks losing this influence if we leave the EU.

The current Conservative government has set a policy goal for universal broadband access. However, the structures that govern the industry are problemative for achieving this goal. This makes for some interesting policy analysis.

The government also supports a policy of content filtering, which is problematic.  Content filtering  is contradictory to the government's  aim of leading the world in digital and creating a new industrial strategy.

This section primarily  discusses a previous  policy attempt to amend telecoms law for copyright enforcement in Britain. This was  the Digital Economy Act which was forced through in the dying hours of the last Parliament in May 2010.   These measures  involved the use of network technology against the users, with  implications for the neutrality of the network, and the neutral ‘mere conduit’ status of the network provider. In 2016,  this law has not been implemented, and  from what can be ascertained it is deemed to be unworkable.

If you like the articles in this section, you may like my book The Closing of the Net.

If you are interested in the Digital Economy Act and copyright enforcement policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

Being literally woken up this morning to hear the radio saying  'music industry' and 'letters' and 'agreement' didn't feel like a good start to the day.  The British music industry has co-erced a number of ISPs - current information suggests 6 of them - into the first stages of a 3 strikes programme. Details are still emerging, but it seems that the ISPs have agreed to send out a certain number of letters per week  - perhaps a thousand per ISP per week - which could be hundreds of thousands a year. It isn't clear whether these are emails or letters through the post. But irrespective of how they are sent, it is clear that this is a mass-scale move by the BPI to punish file-sharers. And it is being done as a move to get around current European law, which prevents the government from legislating. 

The ISPs who agreed to this deal should be ashamed of  caving in to such a proposal which represents an infringement of civil liberties, and is part of a wider European agenda by the music and film industries to get them to police the Internet, monitoring users and blocking access to content,  to support copyright. 

 The deal was brokered by Baroness Shriti Vadera, the former banker who is...

Read more: British ISPs cave in to music industry on strike 1 of 3 strikes

'Broadband settlement' being negotiated behind closed doors

 

 Talks between the British music industry and the ISPs to resolve the P2P / free downloads  logjam have been going on secretly for the past 2-3 weeks, it emerged today.  It is not clear exactly what kind of deal is anticipated, but it is believed that some kind of levy on ISP subscriptions is on the table, under the banner of a 'broadband settlement'. And there are indications that the British music industry is not going to push for French-style enforcement involving cutting off people's internet access. If that is the case - which remains to be seen, these talks could be positive. 

The existence of the talks became evident  at the Music Publishers Association AGM in London today, where management of the composers and authors collecting societies and music publishers gathered to review the  financial performance of this sector of the industry for 2007.  They appear to have begun about 2-3 weeks ago, and were presented as a change of heart by the ISP industry, that it is now willing to talk. A timeframe of the next 3-4 weeks to reach a conclusion has been suggested, but not confirmed.

Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of British Music Rights, confirmed that the talks are happening, but refused

Read more: British music industry in secret talks with ISPs

 The UK  government has told the Internet industry to come to an agreement with media companies over how to deal with filesharing. This has prompted some debate in the technology media, as to the rights and wrongs of ISPs being told to police their networks (but sadly little debate outside the technology pages). 

 

 Read The Guardian's account here.

 

Read The Register's incisive and different viewpoint here.  

 

And Silicon.com's view is here.

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web." ITSecurity.co.uk

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, published author& Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and beyond.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and now Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review