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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'

Four Irish music companies are  taking legal action against Eircom, the Irish telecommunciations operator, on the basis that it has not installed technology to filter and block content which they allege is infringing copyright and illegal. According to a report in the Irish Independent , the companies had asked Eircom to install filtering software made by the US vendor Audible Magic, and it has told them that it is not in a position to do so. The report states that the legal action consists of a request for a restraining order, which would prevent Eircom from making available copies of allegedly infringing material without the copyright owner's consent. 

 

It's interesting that they have chosen this route. Filtering of Internet content at the network level  is rife with legal difficulties, not least of which is the potential to infringe people's fundamental rights to access information, and to privacy. 

 

The companies are the Irish subsidiaries of the four music majors - Warner, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal. They are also member of the Irish Recorded Music Association, a member of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries or IFPI, which is dominated by the four majors.

 

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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.