Thursday, March 08, 2012

British families face having their internet cut off after laws to curb 'piracy' are upheld in court

This seems to be much more narrowly drafted than the obnoxious SOPA and PIPA laws that nearly made it through Congress and arguably shows how copyright holders can be protected without handing the government too much power
Families who illegally download movies, music or books will appear on a blacklist and might – in future - have their internet services cut off. The tough new regime, which is included in the Digital Economy Act, was upheld by the Court of Appeal today after judges threw out a legal challenge.

Major movie, music or publishing company will be able to require an internet service provider to blacklist customers who illegally download or upload copyright material.

Initially, this means they will be sent letters highlighting that they have been identified as pirates and requiring them to provide details of all the material involved. The measure is designed to act as a warning shot and encourage those involved to stop illegal downloads.

However, the Act includes a provision that could, in future, see the guilty punished by having their internet service cut off.

People who feel they have been unfairly identified as computer pirates will have to pay £20 to mount an appeal.

There are concerns that innocent families could branded as pirates if their wi-fi system is hijacked for illegal downloads by a stranger. Mr O’Connor said: ‘As it implements the Act, Ofcom must require a high standard of evidence from copyright owners to prevent innocent consumers being placed on a copyright infringement list.

The Digital Economy Act includes provisions that could, in future, be used to punish families through either a temporary suspension of their internet connection, or by slowing it down. This penalty regime cannot be introduced until at least one year after the new warning letters and blacklist scheme has been in operation.

There would have to be a review by Ofcom, including public consultation, followed by secondary legislation that would have to be passed by Parliament.



Bird of Paradise said...

Big Brother is alive and well in england

Anonymous said...

He's alive and kicking everywhere!

Anonymous said...

only in the minds of insane liberals is shouting USA! racist.

These mentally ill freaks need to be removed from any positions of power.

Use the Name, Luke said...

only in the minds of insane liberals is shouting USA! racist.

They might have something of a point on this one. If it was an American team vs. a team from another country, that chant makes sense. But in this case, both teams were American.

The only real difference between the two (besides the score) was that one team (and presumably the district) were mostly white while the other was mostly minorities. Chanting "USA" in this case can imply that the white team is the "real" American team and the other is not, even if the chanters do not (and probably did not) intend it that way.

Either way, the left's reaction is typical: overreacting and demanding scalps.

Kenn said...

What happened to 'due process'?

Will there be a proper investigation?



Or will all that be covered by government-employed nerds at an in-house computer bank?