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A 'plan B' is needed to address site blocking litigation concerns of the DEA
Friday 25 February 2011 15:16:34 by John Hunt

A 'plan B' is needed to avoid potential litigation caused by blocking of websites which have been accused of unlawful file sharing, according to a working group made up of the government, ISPs and the music industry. This follows the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt's referral of part of the Digital Economy Act (section 17) which deals with blocking of websites, to Ofcom to see how workable it will be in practice. Section 17 can be found here and, in brief, reads:

17.  Power to make provision about injunctions preventing access to locations on the internet

  1. The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the granting by a court of a blocking injunction in respect of a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright.
  2. “Blocking injunction” means an injunction that requires a service provider to prevent its service being used to gain access to the location.
Extract from Section 17 of the Digital Economy Act

The working group intends to look at what can be done to make the system more acceptable, and easier to implement for ISPs who could face repercussions from being forced to block parts of the Internet. One concern is that service providers could get sued by websites who have been blocked. The system could have wider affects of blocking innocent parties if a service provider's implementation of this does not have finely grained control.

"It is agreed that what is needed is a plan B, or at least a plan that works alongside section 17 which would be the legal backstop. We want to look at how ISPs and rights holders can work together."

Unnamed meeting attendee

The meeting was attended by Jeremy Hunt, Ed Vaizey, BT, TalkTalk, Google, Universal Music and the BPI.


Posted by tommy45 over 6 years ago
So this b/s won't be the start of internet censorship then, it won't be exploited by government and it's precious fat cats the music & film industry, it will be just like the anti terrorism law, abuse of power by a few cretins
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Government only currently serves as an instrument of the corporations, the future isn't looking good for the average joe unless they stand up.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
" service providers could get sued by websites who have been blocked " - really ? You just show them the Court order requiring you to block it and tell them to take a walk.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
what about sites blocked with a court order? believe me it happens, I have had take down notices for sites I host and I sometimes refuse when there is inadequate proof, I then get threatened etc. but nothing comes of it. However sometimes they go to the upstream provider above my head and they tend to back down easier and then lean on me.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
This is why everyone should use a VPN, no snooping and no censorship.
Posted by tommy45 over 6 years ago
We should not have to "tunnel up" because this and any government don't know it's a** for it's elbow,what i think it needs is action of some kind by us the people against them or they will just walk all over us and keep doing it,Viva la Revolucion!(not the music cd)
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

UK is a lost cause, no one cares.

And the ones that do have the balls to do anything are BNP/EDL members...
Posted by alewis over 6 years ago
The scary part is the innoculous "...or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that...". Defacto guilty until proven innocent, and the site has to prove a negative. Unsuprisingly the working group includes a lobby group and a vested interest, and no web site representation.
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