Feeds

ISPs facing global clamp down on piracy

Service providers told to up their game in spite of court win for Oz ISP

High performance access to file storage

Aussie ISP iiNET might have won the battle in a High Court ruling today but the war internationally is swinging in the favour of the copyright holders, with service providers facing increasing pressure to act on notifications of infringement, according to one legal expert.

The long-running lawsuit ended in victory for the Australian ISP after the court ruled that it had not “authorised” copyright infringement by virtue of failing to act in stopping its customers engaging in illegal P2P file sharing. We've a detailed analysis of the legal reasoning here.

However, Hong Kong-based Eversheds lawyer Sian Lewis told The Reg that the law is finally catching up with digital pirates across the globe and ISPs “can’t afford to sit back and relax”.

“In a lot of ‘big’ jurisdictions – the UK, Hong Kong, Australia and so on – in recent years the digital aspect and copyright have been emerging, but as usual it takes legislators a long time to address the issues. Things like the UK’s Digital Economy Act have put more onus on ISPs to deal with notifications,” she said.

“ISPs need to up their game to an extent. They don’t have to monitor content but if they know of an infringement they’ll need to take action.”

Hong Kong is still some way behind countries like the UK and US, she added, but is currently digesting the Copyright Amendment Bill 2011 which currently has provisions to make service providers liable for any copyright infringement unless they take “reasonable steps” to limit or stop the infringement “as soon as practicable”.

As always with these things, it will probably take a test case to establish exactly what reasonable steps are.

In any case, the judgement in Australia today will have limited influence on future rulings in similar cases outside the country, said Lewis.

“It’s ‘persuasive’, in legal terms, but obviously a judge wouldn’t have to follow [the decision],” she added.

“Places like Hong Kong and the UK can watch with interest but at the end of the day it is a decision affecting Australia.”

Frost and Sullivan analyst Pranabesh Nath agreed that the heat is being turned up on ISPs worldwide.

"The iiNet ruling is encouraging, but it is an anomaly in the general trend around the world where entertainment industry associations have been generally successful in lobbying governments to enforce strict policies of piracy enforcement, which usually involves the ISP to take on a policing role. Take a look at France, UK, the US as prime examples," he told The Reg.

"In the end, digital piracy is a multifaceted problem, one that is made worse by litigation. If you recall the early days of the US copyright enforcement drives, there were a few cases that were won by ISPs that were of a similar nature, but the overall trend has shifted in favor of associations such as MPAA and their supporting corporations. I believe we may see Australia go this direction as well."

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.