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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'

20th Century Fox v BT:

Is BT the first in a domino effect of blocking orders? BT's defence against the Hollywood studios who files for a blocking order, will be critical for the Internet in the UK and Europe. The case could set up an important precedent. Both parties in court were accutely aware of this possibility.

I attended the court hearing yesterday. Here is my first report of the proceedings. Most media appear to have reported this case based on information supplied by the MPA. I heard BT's submissions, as well as responses from the MPA.

British Telecom (BT), the UK's largest Internet service provider, is defending itself in court this week against a website blocking order filed by the the Motion Picture Association ( MPA ) which is the European arm of the MPAA, representing the major Hollywood film studios. The MPA is asking for an order to make BT block access for all of its subscribers, to a website called Newzbin, which allegedly offers access to unauthorised copies of films and music.

It emerged in court that the application for the blocking order followed months of

Read more: Hollywood v BT: consequences for all European ISPs, court told

Hollywood Studios are at the High Court In London today in an attempt to force BT to block a website that is allegedly infringing copyright. But in a separate development, a document has emerged which outlines wider plans, by the rights holders, for blocking injunctions.

The request for the injunction was filed within the last week or so by the

Read more: 20th Century Fox v BT - and Hollywood's latest plan for ISP co-operation

An injunction by  a married footballer to  hide an  alleged affair has tipped  the issue of Internet free speech into mainstream British news. But is it really about Article 10 rights, or about  maintaining a flow of scandal to protect  Rupert Murdoch's income? 


Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper is an unlikely campaigner for Internet freedom, as is its former editor Kelvin MacKenzie.  Yet today it ran the headline  "Nitwit hits Twitter with writ"  and Mr Mackenzie was on BBC Radio 4 pointing out the information travels freely on the Internet,  and you cannot deny freedom of speech.


What is causing all the fuss is an injunction which  has been filed in the British courts against Twitter, asking it to reveal personal details of certain users. The injunction has been taken out on behalf of an anonymous British footballer, who is seeking to hide details of an alleged extra-marital  affair. The details have been allegedly revealed in Tweets by those users.


I know nothing about football, but  if  you go to Twitter and search for

Read more: Twitter injunction: users v judges in battle for free speech?


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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. 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