Saturday, November 24, 2012

Digital Economy Act: Up to ISPs to decide whether to pursue public Wi-Fi providers over online copyright infringement, says Ofcom

Digital Economy Act: Up to ISPs to decide whether to pursue public Wi-Fi providers over online copyright infringement, says Ofcom: ""The DEA is clear: only subscribers are the legitimate recipients of notifications; communications providers are not," Le Patourel said. "It is the DEA, not Ofcom, that defines these actors. And it is for qualifying ISPs to apply such definitions. Ultimately the independent appeal body will decide whether an ISP has done this correctly by looking at the facts in each individual case brought to it."

"All Ofcom can do is offer some guidance on our interpretation of the definitions, which may play a role in the event that we consider enforcement action for failure to notify subscribers. To that end, we’ve already said that we believe that an individual who receives an internet service primarily for the purpose of using it, but who happens also to make it available to others by opening a Wi-Fi connection, is a subscriber, and can therefore legitimately receive notifications," he added. That’s different to a library or a cafe which can demonstrate that it receives an internet service predominantly for the purpose of making it available to customers. Our interpretation of the definitions is that this body is likely to act as an ISP or a Communications Provider and therefore cannot legitimately receive notifications, even where the owner also uses the service for his own needs."

My thoughts: For the record, I find it deeply objectionable that Ofcom should release this vital information in a seminar to a commercial conference, rather than directly to the affected public. That shows contempt for citizens, as does Parliament's decision that it is for the 'independent appeal body' to decide the staus of Wifi - presumably some 5 years after the Act was passed! Legislate in haste, repent at leisure  'via Blog this'

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