Tag Archives: ISPs

The Obama Administration Publishes New Anti-Piracy Plan

The Obama Administration Publishes New Anti-Piracy PlanThe administration’s annual report reveals US’s intention to change its anti-piracy plan. The Obama Administration advises for more transparency when it comes to protecting Intellectual Property and international agreements, while emphasizing on the importance of how IP enforcement communicates with IP stakeholders.

This year’s report offers a perspective on how the administration handled the IP front, while listing statistics about how ICE and the US Justice Department have been handling copyright infringement thus far. Also, it underlines the fact that, although both Hollywood studios and internet service providers have come up with voluntary schemes to curb piracy, there’s a need to test the cogency of these designs.

As far as transparency is concerned, the Obama Administration implies that an advisory group should be put together, while keeping an “open door policy”, by making the group publish its plans via Federal Register notices and other notification methods.

There’s also the issue of how IP laws are enforced. To that, the report highlights the need of a federal law capable of keeping right-holders satisfied on a regular basis. Since 2009, the report continues, the US Attorney’s Office had filed 178 IP cases targeting 254 defendants. On the other hand, ICE and Homeland Security started 1.251 IP investigations, arresting 691 infringers in the process.

Last but not least, the report addresses the issue of “fair use”.

“…the Administration believes, and the U.S. Copyright Office agrees, that authors (including visual artists, songwriters, filmmakers, and writers) would benefit from more guidance on the fair use doctrine,” the report notes.

Also, the Copyright Office’s intention is to publish “major fair use decisions, including a summary of the holdings and some general questions and observations that may in turn guide those seeking to apply the decisions to their own situations.”

You can read full report here.

India Blocks Two More File-Sharing Websites

India Blocks Two More File-Sharing WebsitesWhile this information has not yet been confirmed by any of the involved sides, Uploaded.net/ul.to and Stooorage.com have been blocked in India by BSNL broadband and Idea 3G.

The move is not the first of its kind in India. Back in February this year, the Department of Telecom (DOT) ordered the blockage of 78 websites, 73 being connected to the Indian Institute of Planning and Management. Two months later, Care.org – a non-profit organization that fights worldwide poverty – had also been blocked by Vodafone India and Spectranet. Last but not least, Zedge, one of the world’s most popular services when it comes to “pimping up” your mobile phone, has been blocked by Vodafone (Tamil Nadu).

What’s weird is that, unlike the aforementioned cases, these last blockages are without a “signature”. By that we mean that neither of the blocked websites shows a message from DOT; instead, they are simply displayed as a blank page.

Censoring websites with the help of internet service providers is turning to be the natural order in India’s online ecosystem, with plaintiffs ordering blockages with impunity. While we do admit that this is a rather strong word, it is unacceptable and probably unconstitutional to block a service without a warning or some kind of explanation for that action. Zedge, for example, is trying to find out why it’s been blocked since January 2013, but their efforts remain futile.

Until all this is confirmed, we can only assume that the whole thing was some sort of mistake.

France Gets Its First Victim Through the HADOPI Anti-Piracy System

France Gets Its First Victim Through the HADOPI Anti-Piracy SystemThe controversial three strikes law meant to combat online piracy in France saw its first victim at a time when its validity is called into question by the government

As many of you already know the system works like this: it all starts with a complaint of a copyright owner; at first the alleged illegal downloader gets an e-mail warning in which he/she is asked to cease any activity involving illegal file-sharing. In its second phase, the system implies a certified letter being sent to the owner of the internet connection used in the illegal file-sharing activities. Finally, the third phase of the system means the actual suspension of the internet connection of the individual suspected of downloading copyright protected content.

HADOPI’s first ofender was cut off the internet for fifteen days and fined 600 EURO. He is now prevented from accessing any Internet service with the exception of e-mail, VoIP and chat services which fall under the right to communicate. However, the ofender has 10 days to appeal to the decision until the penalty is applied.

Over the last few months the controversy around the three strikes legislation has increased a great deal and the future of this is rather questionable. Last month, a conclusion by a government commission read that the internet suspension should be removed as penalty and lower fines should be imposed instead.

After a close look at the current copyright law, the commission proposed for a copyright levy – this means that users would pay a small tax for each device that can be used to play digital media, a tax that already exists in other countries neighbouring France.

UK ISPs And The Backstairs Campaign Against Torrent Proxies

UK ISPs And The Backstairs Campaign Against Torrent ProxiesFollowing England’s workarounds on the issue of online piracy we find that Sky, Virgin Media, BT, and probably other internet providers have started an off-the-books campaign against pirate proxies.

While some of the world’s most popular torrent sites, including TPB, Kat.ph, H33t, and Fenopy, can no longer be accessed on the island, at least not by their original web addresses, people have turned their heads towards alternatives – that is pirate proxies – and, apparently, the BPI and UK’s ISPs had done the same. Although the list of blocked torrent proxies is off the records, TorrentFreak had managed to publish some of the names, as following:


“Although the results may not be the same for all providers, the following sites appear to be blocked (in part) now. All sites in this list provide access to at least one of the torrent sites previously blocked by court order,” TF notes.

Drastik, the man who operates Pirateproxy.net, had told TF that:

“I never thought the BPI would go this far. I have already started setting up new servers for the blocks. However, I think educating people about alternate methods will be better. I have compiled a list of some good methods on a dedicated page,” he said.

“I will continue to move the site to new servers to keep it accessible.”

As for the other side of the camp, a BPI spokesperson said that…

“The court orders obtained in relation to The Pirate Bay cover not only the site itself, but also sites which have the sole or predominant purpose of providing access to The Pirate Bay. It would not be right to allow proxy sites flagrantly to circumvent blocks ordered by the High Court. We do not publish the names of proxies and it would not be appropriate for us to do so.”

Well, folks, it looks like the jig is up, but we have a feeling that this is far from over, especially that these rushed blockages are likely to set another route for those who really want to get their torrent feed.

UK’s Plan To Introduce A Graduated-Response System Could Prove Ineffective

UK’s Plan To Introduce A Graduated-Response System Could Prove IneffectiveAfter successfully managing to take The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2 offline, UK’s government is looking forward to introduce (somewhere next year) a graduated-response system. How effective will the system be against online piracy, however, is disputed by Ofcom’s quarterly report.

Ofcom’s quarterly report, covering November 2012 – January 2013, reveals that notification letters (sent by ISPs to customers who are suspected of downloading and or uploading copyrighted content) which threaten to suspend the user’s internet access would have the desired effect on just 16% of those who are allegedly infringing copyright online. The previous report (covering August 2012 – October 2012) showed that 18% (aged 12+)  got their hands on unlicensed content at least once.

Now, here’s something for the entertainment industries to consider before they go and block websites at DNS level. Internet consumers agreed upon three vital changes that would make them stop infringing copyright: 28% (down from 30% in the previous report) claim that affordable legal services would make them stop from downloading illegal content, 24% (down from 25% in the previous report) asked for a system that clearly determines which content is legal and which is not, and 22% (down from 24% in the previous report) agreed that availability is an important issue that drives people to pirate.

ofcom's quarterly report

Furthermore, 41% of all internet users (age 12+) said that they are “not particularly confident” or “not at all confident” about what’s legal and what’s not legal (online, of course).

The survey explains that for music, films and TV programmes, consumers who chose both legal and illegal content “claimed to spend more on that particular content type over the three-month period than those who consumed either 100% legally or 100% illegally“.

Why? Well, 48% (down from 50%) said because it’s free, 39% (down from 46%) chose convenience, and 36% (down from 43%) said because it’s fast.

As for the source of pirated content, peer-to-peer takes the cake, with 35% preferring the decentralized method. Cyberlockers account for just 12%.

Will these results bring further changes to the Obligations Code? We’re about to see…