IDP 2011 net neutrality and other challenges for the future of the InternetIDP 2011 7th International Conference on Internet, Law and Politics: Net Neutrality and other challenges for the future of the Internet

Barcelona 11 July 2011

My paper - p157 of the download document -

Copyright at a Policy Cross-Roads – Online Enforcement, the Telecoms Package and the Digital Economy Act 

The full paper as published in the conference proceedings is  available for download here  - p157.  Please follow the guildelines for citations.

Abstract of Copyright at a Policy Cross-Roads – Online Enforcement, the Telecoms Package and the Digital Economy Act 

The EU Telecoms Package and the matter of copyright created a puzzle for policy studies. The matter arose in the context of peer-to-peer file-sharing and copyright enforcement, and a small number of amendments that were apparently about copyright which were inserted into the EU telecoms framework. The policy problem concerns both telecoms and copyright scholars, and the underlying question to be posed is exactly why and in what ways could telecoms law be targeted for copyright? This paper is written in two parts. The first part addresses the policy rationale behind copyright enforcement on broadband networks, and it explains why the Telecoms Package was in fact, the appropriate policy instrument. The paper draws on a cross-disciplinary policy study conducted under the auspices of the author’s doctoral research, which analysed over 200 EU documentary sources. The aim of the amendments to the Telecoms Package was to provide at EU level the necessary elements which would enable Member States to move forward with national copyright enforcement measures for the Internet. The second part of the paper attempts to de-construct one of the policies now being put in place to enforce copyright against peer-to-peer file-sharing, namely the UK’s Digital Economy Act 2010. Using insights from the EU Telecoms Package, it discusses the structure inherent in the UK’s Digital Economy Act 2010, and the policy logic embedded in it. This account will be brought right up to date by examining the arguments presented in the context of the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act in March 2011, where it can be seen how the rationale uncovered in the Telecoms Package analysis is reinforced.