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    UK Issues Tougher Draft Code For Online Copyright Infringement

    Published on 26 June 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    United Kingdom communications regulator Ofcom today published three documents on digital copyright infringement, including a draft code requiring large internet service providers (ISPs) to inform customers of allegations that their internet connection has been used to infringe copyright, and consultations on the code and on cost-sharing.

    Under the proposed code, ISPs would have to explain in the notifications the steps subscribers can take to protect their networks from being used to infringe copyright and tell them where they can go to find licensed content on the internet, Ofcom said.

    Copyright holders would conduct an information campaign about why infringing their content is bad, and try to develop “more attractive online services to offer their content,” Ofcom said.

    From the start the code initially would cover ISPs totalling more than 93 per cent of the UK retail broadband market, that is, those with more than 400,000 broadband-enabled fixed lines. This includes BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk Group and Virgin Media.

    ISPs will have to send customers up to three letters reporting suspected infringement, a month apart, after which copyright owners may request anonymous information showing them the infringement reports linked to specific customers. The copyright owner could then seek a court order requiring the ISP to reveal the customer’s identity, with the intent to take legal action under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act of 1988.

    Rights owners already have this right, but “the Code is designed to enable them to focus legal action on the most persistent alleged infringers,” Ofcom said.

    There will be an appeal process for incorrectly named customers, with the independent panel set by Ofcom.

    The documents were prompted by the UK Digital Economy Act of 2010.

    Some revisions were made from the first draft of 2010, including that Ofcom must now approve copyright owners’ procedures for gathering evidence of infringement. “Ofcom plans to sponsor the development of a publically-available [sic] standard to help promote good practice in evidence gathering,” it said.

    In addition, now when ISPs send letters to subscribers, they must include the number of copyright infringement reports connected to their account.

    And appeals got tougher, to be filed within 20 working days, and only on grounds specified in the Digital Economy Act.

    Meanwhile, more measures could be on the way. Ofcom said: “[T]he Digital Economy Act outlined a process for further measures which the Secretary of State might consider to help reduce online copyright infringement. These would require ISPs to take steps (such as internet bandwidth reduction, blocking internet access or temporarily suspending accounts) against relevant subscribers in certain circumstances.”

    “However,” it said, “those measures could only be considered after the Code has been in force for at least 12 months, and would require further legislation and approval by Parliament. They would also require Ofcom to establish a further independent appeals process with judicial oversight.”

    The consultation on the draft code ends on 26 July. Information on the draft code and consultation is here.

    The consultation on costs for the proposed plan ends on 18 September. Information is available here.

    The Ofcom press release is available here.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Phishing email cites Digital Economy Act | The Barefoot Technologist says:

      [...] Group have published the full text of the email. Note that this happens only three days after OfCom publish their plans to notify users suspected of copyright infringement. I wonder how many people will be taken in by similar scams? Like this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

    2. Intersect Alert July 1, 2012 | SLA San Francisco Bay Region Chapter says:

      [...] UK Issues Tougher Draft Code For Online Copyright Infringement “United Kingdom communications regulator Ofcom today published three documents on digital copyright infringement, including a draft code requiring large internet service providers (ISPs) to inform customers of allegations that their internet connection has been used to infringe copyright, and consultations on the code and on cost-sharing. Under the proposed code, ISPs would have to explain in the notifications the steps subscribers can take to protect their networks from being used to infringe copyright and tell them where they can go to find licensed content on the internet, Ofcom said.” http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/06/26/uk-issues-tougher-draft-code-for-online-copyright-infringement/ [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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