Irish ISP ordered to stop using ‘three strikes’ system against illegal file-sharers: “The Irish data protection watchdog has ordered the country’s largest internet service provider (ISP) to stop using its ‘three strikes’ system for identifying and warning alleged illegal file-sharers, according to media reports.”
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Courts cannot force ISPs into broad filtering and monitoring for copyright-infringing traffic, ECJ rules: “Court injunctions that force internet service providers (ISPs) to filter and monitor user traffic in order to prevent illegal file-sharing are contrary to EU law and fundamental rights, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Win for Hollywood studios as UK high court rules BT must block access to Newzbin2
Mark Sweney and Josh Halliday
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 July 2011 10.58 BST
Hollywood film studios won a landmark UK high court ruling on Thursday forcing BT to block access to an illegal file-sharing website accused of operating ‘on a grand scale’.
The Motion Picture Association, the trade body whose members include Warner Bros, Fox, Disney and Paramount Pictures, has been granted an order requiring BT — the UK’s biggest internet service provider — to block its customers’ access to the website Newzbin2.
Thursday’s verdict will be viewed by the creative industries as a landmark that could set a precedent for the widespread blocking of illegal filesharing websites by ISPs, helping to stem the flow of digital piracy in the UK.
‘In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes,’ said Justice Arnold in his ruling at the high court in London.
‘[BT] knows that the users of Newzbin2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin2,’ Arnold added.
BT had argued that forcing it to ban its 6 million UK customers from accessing a website would usher in a new wave of online censorship.
However, the creative industries claim website blocking could save them hundreds of millions of pounds in illegal downloads.
The MPA said that Newzbin2 makes unlawful copies of television programmes and films, and receives in excess of £1m a year from its 700,000 users.
‘This ruling from Justice Arnold is a victory for millions of people working in the UK creative industries and demonstrates that the law of the land must apply online,’ said Chris Marcich, MPA managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. ‘This court action was never an attack on ISPs, but we do need their cooperation to deal with the Newzbin site, which continually tries to evade the law and judicial sanction.’
The film industry’s fight to block Newzbin stretches back to March last year, when the high court ordered the site to take down all of its pirated material and pay damages to the studios.
The three men behind the Newzbin Ltd – Chris Elsworth, Thomas Hurst and Lee Skillen – sold all of their shares in the company to David Harris shortly before the trial. Newzbin Ltd went into administration shortly after the ruling and avoided the huge payouts.
Months later a clone site appeared operating anonymously from Sweden. Rights holders said they had no choice but to force BT to block UK users’ access to the website, saying all other legal avenues had been exhausted.
Simon Milner, director of group industry policy at BT, said the latest judgment means rights holders will now have to prove in court that a website infringes copyright before it is blocked.
Milner added that the judgment puts the Digital Economy Act voluntary blocking scheme, drawn up at industry roundtable meetings earlier this year with Ed Vaizey, the culture minister, in an uncertain position.
‘[The judgment] is actually helpful and we welcome it because it clarifies a complex area of law and shows that rights holders can use the copyright laws in this country. It means they have to prove a site is infringing before [a] court and get a court order,’ he said.
Milner declined to reveal how much it will cost ISPs such as BT to block infringing websites.
IP rights enforcement laws criticised by rights holders but supported by ISPs, European Commission says: “EU laws on the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights should set out internet service providers’ (ISPs) responsibilities for combating online piracy, copyright holders have told the European Commission.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Belgian ISP does not have to filter out copyright-infringing traffic, says ECJ advisor: “Belgian ISP Scarlet should not have to filter copyright-infringing traffic from its service because to do so would invade users’ privacy, an advisor to the EU’s top court has said.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Committee launches a new inquiry into the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Online – UK Parliament: “Committee launches a new inquiry into the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Online
10 November 2010
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee issues a call for evidence on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Online
The Committee will consider the new framework for the protection of intellectual property rights online that is being established under the Digital Economy Act, and the extent to which it is a reasonable and sufficient response to the challenges facing creative industries and individuals in digital markets. Issues the Committee will be considering include:
The implementation, practicality and likely effectiveness of the relevant measures contained in the Digital Economy Act. In particular:
* Whether the new framework has captured the right balance between supporting creative work online and the rights of subscribers and ISPs.
* Whether the notification process is fair and proportionate.
* The extent to which the associated costs might hinder the operation of the Act.
* At what point, if at all, consideration should be given to introducing the additional technical measures allowed for under the Act.
More broadly, the scope for additional activity and new approaches to ensure that original work is appropriately rewarded in the online environment, including the issues raised by the Government’s review of the intellectual property framework. In particular:
* Intellectual Property and barriers to new internet-based business models, including information access, the costs of obtaining permissions from existing rights-holders, and ‘fair use.’
The Committee is inviting written submission on the above and other matters relevant to the inquiry. A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and have ‘The Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Online’ in the subject line. Submissions should be received by Wednesday 5 January 2011.
Guidance on submitting written evidence
It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:
Each submission should:
* state clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation
* be about 3,000 words in length / run to no more than six sides of A4 paper;
* as far as possible comprise a single document attachment to the email;
* begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
* have numbered paragraphs;
* be in Word or Rich Text format (not PDF) with as little use of colour or logos as possible.
Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.
It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence would send their contact details separately in a covering email in a block of text laid out vertically. You should also be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Though there is a strong preference for emailed submissions, those without access to a computer should send a hard copy to:
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
House of Commons
7 Millbank London
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website.
Please also note that:
* Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this.
* Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed submission, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
* Evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
* Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the Internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
* Committees do not normally investigate individual cases of complaint or allegations of maladministration.
* Once submitted, no public use should be made of any submission prepared specifically for the Committee unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.
For up-to-date information on progress of the inquiry visit the Culture, Media and Sport Committtee’s inqury pages”
Is Europe’s shield for web hosts corroding away?: “OPINION: A gap is emerging between the way similar laws are being interpreted in the US and Europe that presents a threat to web hosts. In Europe they are at greater risk of being saddled with liability for users’ copyright transgressions than in the US.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
ISPs will pay quarter of copyright notification costs, says Government: “Internet service providers (ISPs) will have to bear a quarter of the costs of the copyright protection systems to be set up under the Digital Economy Act (DEA), the Government has said. ISPs have objected to the decision.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
A US bankruptcy court has said that a man committed defamation just by forwarding an email with links in it to online material that was defamatory. The court said that the man ‘published’ the blog to his email recipients.…
(Via The Register – Public Sector.)