Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mandelson on why UK is going for 3 strikes

Peter Mandelson has been explaining in this morning's Times why he is pushing the UK government towards a 3 strikes law.
"The Government decided to reopen the issue of suspending internet connections as a sanction of last resort against the most egregious offenders for two simple reasons. First, taking something for nothing, without permission, and with no compensation for the person who created and owns it, is wrong. Simple as that. I was shocked to hear that as much as half of all internet traffic in the UK is for the carriage of unlawful content...

Second, our creative businesses drive much of our economy... we should create a regulatory environment where they can operate without having to deal with illegal competition.

Crucially, if these changes can give the creative businesses and their partners the space to develop new business models that support more new artists, acts and films, then surely we are duty bound to consider them. "
You have to hand it to the entertainment industry lobbyists - they're good at getting influencial politicians fighting their cause. Ruled out by the European Parliament, mulitple jurisdictions all over the world, the Council of Europe, dicta in the the European Court of Justice Promisicae case, and even declared unconstitutional by the highest court in France, 3 strikes gets a new lease of life in the UK, where it had been ruled out by the prime minister, all because music industry executives manage to organise a friendly chat with Peter Mandelson. I do agree with him on one point though and have been saying it for several years:
"Provide customers with a good quality, cheap, safe and efficient experience, and they will ditch illegal downloading."
Convenience beats free every time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Twitter's bid to trademark 'tweet' fails

Also from last Friday's Guardian: Twitter's bid to trademark 'tweet' fails
"The word "tweet" may have entered the international lexicon thanks to an explosion in 140-character microblogging messages, but an attempt by Twitter's founders to trademark it has been rejected.

Twitter applied to the US patent and trademark office last month for ownership of the word but the request was provisionally denied on the grounds that other companies had filed for trademarks of very similar words."

Teen jailed over Facebook death threats

An 18 year old in the UK has been jailed for making death threats on Facebook according to the Guardian.
"A teenager who posted death threats on Facebook has become the first person in Britain to be jailed for bullying on a social networking site.

Keeley Houghton, 18, of Malvern, Worcestershire, has been sentenced to three months in a young offenders' institution after she posted a message saying that she would kill Emily Moore. She pleaded guilty to harassment.

On 12 July, Houghton updated her status on Facebook to read: "Keeley is going to murder the bitch. She is an actress. What a fucking liberty. Emily Fuckhead Moore.""

Another example of not just the nastiness but also the stupidity of online bullying - they don't seem to realise that they are leaving clear hard evidence of their odious behaviour.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

3 strikes for the UK?

The Guardian is reporting that the UK government are planning to introduce a three strikes law for suspected internet copyright infringers.
"People who persist in swapping copyrighted films and music will have their internet

connections cut off under tough new laws to be proposed by the government today.

The measures also include taking the power to target illegal downloaders away from regulator Ofcom and giving it to ministers to speed up the process.

The decision to cut off peer-to-peer filesharers is unexpected since it was ruled out by the government's own Digital Britain report in June as going too far."

Google must reveal blogger's ID in defamation case

From the Findlaw tort blog:
"Model Liskula Cohen was victorious this week in her efforts to get Google to turn over the IP address and email address of an anonymous blogger who allegedly defamed her. She celebrated, according to the New York Post, by forgiving her attacker (one Rosemary Port, who was apparently retaliating against Cohen for some nasty things Cohen allegedly told Port's boyfriend), and dropping a $3 million lawsuit against her.

Perhaps Liskula Cohen was feeling generous, but do the rest of us have to worry about the "anonymous" things we post on the internet? Are you on the verge of being outed, and sued, by the next person who doesn't like what you have to say?"
Remember the post is referring to US not UK defamation law.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eircom to block internet access to Pirate Bay as other firms refuse

The Irish Times reported last week that Eircom is blocking access to Pirate Bay.
"EIRCOM WILL block its internet customers accessing the Pirate Bay website from September 1st, but other internet service providers (ISPs) have refused a similar request from Irish record labels.

Pirate Bay ( is a notorious Swedish website which provides links to places where copyrighted material such as movies and music can be downloaded for free.

Under an out-of-court agreement with EMI Records, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warners in January, Eircom agreed to cut off customers found to be repeatedly downloading music illegally. The deal also required Eircom to cut off access to Pirate Bay if requested."

Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft oppose Google book settlement

From the NYT:
"Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo are planning to join a coalition of nonprofit groups, individuals and library associations to oppose a proposed class-action settlement giving Google the rights to commercialize digital copies of millions of books."