Yearly Archives: 2011

Unintended Consequences of DNS blocking

Now that BT’s DNS service has been reviewed by a Court and the newzbin2 site been deleted, can I assume that all sites within the DNS database are permitted by the copyright holders and courts?

I feel that we as the ISP’s customers need some “certainty”.

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Why the DE Act is not in breach of EU law?

I have finally finished my summary of the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. [here]. I have posted it on this blog backdated it to 21st April 2010, since that is the day after the judgement was delivered, and close to when I started it.  It’s a hard read, and I am not sure my summary is much easier. It’s clearly taken a long time to read the judgement and write my review in hours taken and from when I started, for that I apologise. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading.

The ruling states that,

  1. the DE Act is not a technical regulation and thus does not need to be notified to the EU Commission as part of the legislative process, although the subsidiary Ofcom regulations will.
  2. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU’s E-Commerce Directive because the ‘mere conduit’ defence is not absolute, it does not require ‘general monitoring’, and copyright protection measures are excluded from the domain of the ECD.
  3. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU or UK Privacy and Data Protection laws because copyright enforcement measures are permitted processing measures under the Law.
  4. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU’s Authorisation Directive since the AD does not prohibit amendment or supplementary regulation, however it does invalidate some aspects of the proposed cost sharing order.
  5. the claimants fail to prove that the DE Act and its parliamentary passage was sufficiently disproportionate to warrant being struck down i.e. that intellectual property rights are balanced against the rights of ISSPs and citizens by Parliament.

The ruling made no comments on the proportionality of any “Technical Measures” since they have not been drafted, agreed or promulgated.

The court made no comment on whether a law requiring “careful balance” on the issues of “fundamental rights” should be passed using the unprecedented accelerated procedures of House of Commons’ Wash-up. This process meant that the possibly 100’s of hours of review time spent by elected politicians was avoided. (The Commons spent under 10 hours considering the Bill.)

Judge Parker refused the claimants the right to appeal, but this has now been granted on all grounds except that the DE Act breaches the E-Commerce Directive by imposing a duty of general monitoring.  This was reported by the Guardian [here] and Linx [here].

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The Digital Divide in the UK

While researching another blog article, I was pointed at the ONS’ Statistical Bulletin, “Internet Access – Households and Individuals, 2011“. This reports that 77% (up from 73% last year) of UK Households have internet access, and 79% of internet users think they can protect their privacy. (Yeah right!)

They ask those who do not have the internet “Why not?” and the reasons are, price of equipment, lack of skills or lack of need. I’d be interested in those who find the cost of connection too high?

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Testing Vote-it-up

This is a new blog post to check on the voting widgets.

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Program or be Programmed, it starts at school

It would seem that even the IT industry is fed up with England’s IT education syllabus. A number of IT companies, most of them US subsidiaries have issued a “report” seeking to influence the quality of IT teaching in England. In an article, called “Coding the New Latin”, the BBC report,

Today, the report is dated 28th Nov, the likes of Google, Microsoft and other leading technology names will lend their support to the case made to the government earlier this year in a report called Next Gen. It argued that the UK could be a global hub for the video games and special effects industries – but only if its education system got its act together

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No Treaty Change to save the Euro

What to make of yesterday? Britain wields its veto at the EU Summit to reject changes to the treaty that this Tory led government deem to be ‘not in the national interest’, despite stating that saving the Euro is in the UK’s interests and arguing for the last three months that fiscal unity for the Euro was part of the answer.

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A Nordic morning

Just back from a trip to Guildford, to the Scandinavian Fair. We now have some Xmas presents for others, a hat for me, and some snacks with which to watch “The Killing”.

No pickled fish unfortunately, but we made up for that on the way home.

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Sabam vs Scarlet, the People vs. Copyright

The European Court rules to balance the rights of copyright holders against citizenship rights. Finally some sense from the courts. The SABAM vs Scarlet case from Belgium has finally reached the end of the road. The European Court of Justice has ruled that EU Law prohibits national courts from forcing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to filter and block all users, including alleged and proven copyright infringers.

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What am I saying

Sometime, you just have to use a Wordle, here’s mine of this blog, as at today.

You can click through to the wordle page.

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Software Migration

I had reason to revist some of the thinking behind my book on Software Migration, the key lesson of which is that the drivers and hence the tactics for Software migrations vary. I worked with colleagues at Sun Microsystems in writing a book, which while called “Migrating to the Solaris Operating System”, and thus maybe past its best, it had a tag line of “The discipline of UNIX-to-UNIX Migrations”. It’s available to buy on Amazon, or possibly available on, the link I published in 2011, seems to have gone. The rest of this blog, highlights the super strategies and lists two gotchas.

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And for our next trick, we’ll make the Pirate Bay disappear

The Guardian ran a story yesterday which states that a coalition of music publishing corporations have threatened BT with court action to get them to “block” the Pirate Bay since they feel they have a legal precedent in the newzbin2 judgements.

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More on the Newzbin2 affair

Last week, BT and the Movie Studios returned to court to discuss the terms of the newzbin2 injunction. The judgement is a pretty much a  victory for the Studios. BT must use Cleanfeed to block notified sites, they must use it to block all addresses notified by the applicants, the proposal that only sites that ‘predominantly’ induce copyright infringement should be blocked was rejected, they can’t turn the blocking off for operational reasons without the permission of the applicants, they can’t terminate the injunction in circumstances where the applicants don’t injunct BT’s competitors in a reasonable time frame, BT have to pay for the enforcement, BT have no right to claim damages against the studios for consequential liability,  BT have to pay the studio’s court costs to the point of the initial newzbin2 injunction, costs incurred after the injunction are born be each side.

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Three Wise Men, caption competition

The London Evening Standard ran this picture, with some rubbish about how Cameron brought his intellectual friend along to get Obama to lean on Merkel and Sarkozy to rescue the Euro (and lets face it, the Pound). Perhaps you can do better…

Please comment…

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