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Internet Trials

The policy debate doesn't always happen within the official policy fora such as European Commission consultations, or Parliamentary committees. Especially when it comes to the Internet and online content. Certain interest groups take it into other venues. The courts are being called on the interpret the law, and the caselaw is used by courts all around Europe in the context of their judgments. This section looks at instances of legal action against Internet providers by private interest groups, or actions by Member States who are implementing laws and initiatives. Iptegrity's concern, as ever, is the protection of the open Internet and free speech. In the courts, this will be addressed in the context of the right to freedom of expression or privacy.


If you are interested in copyright caselaw you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses the UK copyright blocking judgments and the Megaupload case in New Zealand.

If you are interested in copyright 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'

A law suit by the Irish music industry against the country's major ISP has settled out of court, just two weeks into the proceedings. The settlement, whilst not great news for  Internet users, is better than it might have been.

 

The case concerns the Irish telecoms company and ISP,  Eircom, which was being sued by the four major music labels - EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony BMG - in the  High Court in  Dublin. The music companies were alleging that Eircom was liable for copyright infringement by Internet users accessing the ‘Net via the Eircom network. They wanted the court to order Eircom to implement network filtering measures to deal with the alleged copyright infringements.

 

The out of court settlement is reported on the website of Linx (London Internet Exchange). It is  understood that there has been  an agreement that Eircom will implement some form of 3-strikes or graduated response measures, and the music industry will

Read more: Eircom filtering case settles out of court

The Danish Telecommunications Association is to back an appeal in the Supreme Court against a ruling to block the Pirate Bay.

The ruling was made against the ISP Tele2 in February 2008, in a law suit that was filed by IFPI. Tele2 was ordered to block access to the Pirate Bay. The ruling  was upheld in a high court appeal in November 2008. According to a report in TorrentFreak , Tele2 has announced that it is  to appeal again in the Supreme court, with the industry support, because if the ruling stands, it might lead to  further blocking of Internet content.

This fear is supported by an IFPI press statement in which it says

Read more: Danish telecoms industry backs appeal against IFPI

The overblocking of Wikipedia because of one image on the IWF database, serves as a timely warning against more widespread filtering.

Filters put in place by UK ISPs to comply with a blacklist of child pornography websites have resulted in widespread blocking of the Wikipedia. In some cases, UK users cannot edit Wikipedia pages, in others it seems they cannot view it at all. The intended target of the block is a single image of an album cover from a German rock band called the Scorpions, which is hosted on some Wikipedia pages.  The over-blocking of Wikipedia  affects O2,  Virgin Media, Sky/Easynet, Plusnet, Demon, and TalkTalk.

When I checked it – I am on Demon Internet – I get a notice telling me

Read more: UK ISPS lock out Wikipedia in filtering error

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review