Feeds

Govt rubber-stamps Google Review, drops web-blocking

Quango plays legislator

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Vince Cable is expected to announce that the government will endorse all the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review into intellectual property, the "Google Review" – tomorrow. The FT adds that Cable will also announce that regulator Ofcom has said Clauses 17 and 18 of the Digital Economy Act, dealing with website blocking, are unworkable.

Neither is totally unexpected – Ofcom's view is a reason why Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has been chairing industry meetings to discuss a non-regulatory alternative to Clauses 17 and 18. These have been condemned as "closed door meetings" by activists miffed at not being invited.

Ofcom is expected to conclude that no website blocking can be 100 per cent effective, which is technically correct: users can circumvent a block by a number of technical means. But 99 per cent wouldn't bother with proxies, onion routers or using numerical IP addresses, say rights-holders, so even a limited block would be highly effective.

They also query the right of a quango to make itself legislator supreme – when its job is to carry out the law. Whatever you think of web-blocking, that's a valid concern. Elected legislators make laws, the judiciary interprets them. Or is that a bit "analog era"?

Everyone proclaimed themselves the winners in a ruling last week which ordered BT to block access to Usenet scraper Newsbinz2; BT said it maintained the high cost... er legal duty of enforcing copyright online, rights-holders said it proved ISPs must block known rogue sites. It looks like things are much as they were.

Google's Hargreaves' main recommendations are to lift the restriction on format shifting – compensation is not mentioned – an exemption on data mining, easing the use on unattributed photographs by industry and libraries, and a "digital copyright exchange".

Two years ago Cameron called for "a new era of Google government". This must be what it what this looks like... ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.