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’

BT and TalkTalk v Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

 

Today rights holders and ISPs turned up at the high court in London for a court case which will determine the legality or otherwise of the Digital Economy Act. There is a sense too in which arguments put the whole concept of graduated response or 3-strikes in the dock and that for the first time we are hearing a reasoned case against 3-strikes.

 In a courtroom divided clearly between the two camps, the case against the DE Act was put by BT's barrister was the first day of a three-day hearing.

 The following account is my personal  view of what was said, having sat through the entire day. I've summarised what I consider to be some of the key points in BT's arguments.

 

Read more: Digital Economy Act Judicial Review Day 1

Can a court quash the Digital Economy Act ? This is the British law which brings in a version of 3-strikes and it comes to court this week in a unique case.

 

***The arguments set out in this article are based on the case set out in legal documentation from  BT and TalkTalk. I intend to go to the court tomorrow and will be posting further on this case.***

 

Tomorrow the British high court will hear the case against the government put by two ISPs, British Telecom and TalkTalk (Carphone Warehouse). There are asking the court to quash the DE Act.  It is possibly the first instance of its kind where a court has been asked to review a law which has been passed by Parliament.

 The Digital Economy Act includes provisions for copyright enforcement measures in respect of peer-to-peer file-sharing and Internet content, which mean that people may be warned, put on blacklists and ultimately have their connection suspended as a punishment.

If the two ISPs  win, the Digital Economy  Act becomes unenforceable and lapses.  BT and Talk Talk will argue that the government

Read more: DE Act in court tomorrow for a quashing order

The Hargreaves review of  intellectual property  law gave hope to those from the digital world that the UKgovernment was prepared to consider some new thinking over the tricky aspects of digital copyright.  But the review team have been subjected to heavy rights-holder lobbying. 

 

The deadline for submissions to the UK's Copyright Review ended last week on Friday. The aim of the inquiry was to investigate how intellectual property (IP)  law should be changed to support new and innovative, hi-tech businesses.  Now, as they plough through the submissions, many people will be hoping that Ian Hargreaves and his team  at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) are brave enough to come up with some truly innovative answers to the copyright dilemna.

 

The rights-holders have evidently not left it to chance. The IPO has put online a list of

Read more: Rights-holders heavy UK copyright inquiry

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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