Archive for May, 2010

Ofcom have released a draft code of practice as per #deact/#debill

Posted by on Friday, 28 May, 2010

———- Forwarded message ———-
From:
Date: 28 May 2010 14:37
Subject: OFCOM NEWS RELEASE: Draft code of practice to reduce online copyright infringement
To: 

 

Image003

 

For Immediate Release

28 May 2010

 

Draft code of practice to reduce online copyright infringement

A proposed code of practice which implements legislative measures aimed at reducing online copyright infringement has today been published by Ofcom, as part of its new duties under the Digital Economy Act 2010 (the Act).

 

The Act requires that the code of practice is implemented no later than eight months from Royal Assent, including approval from the European Commission. Subject to consultation and approval, Ofcom expects the code to come into force in early 2011.

 

The code of practice

The draft code sets out how and when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) covered by the code will send notifications to their subscribers to inform them of allegations that their accounts have been used for copyright infringement. 

 

In passing the Act, Parliament’s intention was that Ofcom should apply the obligations in a proportionate way, with the code initially covering only the larger fixed-line ISPs, but with the clear message that, should levels of copyright infringement on other networks, including mobile, increase then those ISPs will similarly be required to comply with the obligations.  Ofcom proposes, therefore, that fixed-line ISPs with over 400,000 subscribers will be covered initially.  This would mean that the seven largest ISPs – BT, Talk Talk, Virgin Media, Sky, Orange, O2 and Post Office – will be covered by the code from the outset.  Ofcom proposes to regularly review evidence of online copyright infringement across all service providers and to extend the scope of the code if appropriate. 

 

The code also sets out the threshold for including subscribers on a copyright infringers list which must be compiled by ISPs.  ISPs will have to record the number of notifications sent to their subscribers and maintain an anonymised list of alleged serial copyright infringers.  Copyright holders can then request information on this list and pursue a court order to identify serial infringers and take legal action against them.  Ofcom is proposing a three stage notification process for ISPs to inform subscribers of copyright infringements and proposes that subscribers which have received three notifications within a year may be included in a list requested by a copyright owner.

 

Appeals process

Ofcom’s approach is guided by the need to protect the interests of consumers and citizens.  Ofcom will establish an independent, robust subscriber appeals mechanism for consumers who believe they have received incorrect notifications, arrangements for enforcement and dealing with industry disputes, as well as sharing the costs arising from the code.

 

Additional measures to reduce copyright infringement

The code of practice forms part of a wider set of industry activity to tackle online copyright infringement including consumer education, the promotion of lawful alternative services and targeted legal action against serious infringers.  Ofcom intends to monitor how these develop and will report regularly to Government on both the effectiveness of the code and on the additional measures.

 

The consultation can be found here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/copyright-infringement/ and closes on 30 July 2010.

 

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS

 

1.       Under section 124D of the Communications Act 2003 (as inserted by the Digital Economy Act 2010), Ofcom has a duty to make a code for the purpose of regulating the initial obligations of ISPs to send notifications and provide copyright infringement lists to copyright owners on request.

 

2.       The Act provides that the Secretary of State may by order impose technical measures which include bandwidth throttling and temporary account suspension 12 months after the Code comes into force.  Any such order must be approved by both Houses of Parliament.

 

3.       Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services.

 

4.       For further information about Ofcom please visit: www.ofcom.org.uk.  Ofcom’s news releases can be found at: www.ofcom.org.uk/media/.

 

CONTACT

 

Amber Vassiliou

Media & Corporate Relations

Ofcom

[email protected]

0300 123 4000

 

 

 

 

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Consultation on proposed code of practice re #deact/#debill

Posted by on Friday, 28 May, 2010

Consultation is listed below – would urge all to take part

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Updates
Date: 28 May 2010 14:01
Subject: Ofcom Update: Draft code of practice to reduce online
copyright infringement
To:

A proposed code of practice which implements legislative measures
aimed at reducing online copyright infringement has today been
published by Ofcom, as part of its new duties under the Digital
Economy Act 2010.

Subject to consultation and approval, Ofcom expects the code to come
into force in early 2011.

The consultation can be found here:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/copyright-infringement/

…………………………………………………………………

Please do not respond to this email. To remove yourself from this
update list, use the online forms:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/subscribe/select_list.htm

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For more information visit www.ofcom.org.uk

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use of the addressee only.

If you have received this email in error please notify the originator
of the message and delete it from your system.

This email has been scanned for viruses. However, you open any
attachments at your own risk.

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Latest FOI response from BIS re #deact/#debill

Posted by on Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

I have received another response to my request for information from BIS about communication between the ministers involved with the #deact/#debill. I realise that I am now pressing the point but I am very surprised that they are claiming that there was no email communication between the three ministers and am now wondering what, if anything, they are hiding. 


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <EMAIL REDACTED>
Date: 25 May 2010 14:51
Subject: RE: FOI Request – Digital Economy Bill
To: Me

Simon,

Thank you for your emails.

In relation to your previous email, I realise my response may need clarifying. You are correct to say that emails are retained. However, the reason that the information is not held is because such emails were not sent (i.e. after a search, we found that emails about the Digital Economy Bill were not sent between the Ministers you referred to within the period you specified).

Also, I should have made clear that as the Digital Economy Bill was a Bill managed across both the Department for Business and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), I asked colleagues at the DCMS to conduct a search and they also had a nil return (i.e. no emails sent).

I will contact the FOI team to let them know that you would like an internal review and will let you know when the results will be available.

Best wishes

BIS refuse to give further information on #deact/#debill, not sure how to proceed.

Posted by on Sunday, 23 May, 2010

With reference to my request to BIS for discussions which took place on the #deact I have received the below – I am _very_ surprised that the information I am requesting "is not held". Would be interested to see what, if anything, was sent by Mandleson to Sion Simon and Stephen Timms about making the #debill tougher than originally discussed and whether they tried to ensure it would be "washed up" as far back as August last year. Is there any legislation for retention of emails by gov depts that I should know of? Appreciate any advice on this

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your email.

I have detailed some further background below on the information you requested.

The first part of your request was for "Minutes of meetings which took place in August 2009 between Lord Mandelson and David Geffen". This information is not held by this department because there is not a record of such a meeting taking place as Ministerial business. You may be interested to know that the Department regularly publishes a list of Ministerial meetings on its website.

The second part of your request was for "all emails relating to the proposed digital economy bill from August 2009, September 2009 and October 2009 which were sent between Sion Simon, Lord Mandelson & Stephen Timms." To investigate your request, we conducted a thorough search of relevant electronic records (emails) that the department holds. I have established that the information you requested is not held. Even if this information was held, it may be subject to exemption under section 35(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act which applies to communications between Ministers.

I hope that this further information is helpful and would ask that you consider it before proceeding with your request for an internal review.

Please do let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Kind regards

FOI Request Response – Digital Economy Bill #deact #debill

Posted by on Monday, 17 May, 2010

I have received the below as a response to my request for information
from the Department of BIS. I am not hugely surprised that there are
no minutes from the Lord Mandleson/Geffen meeting but for there to be
no email communication logged between the 3 major protagonists of the
#debill is surprising, I have appealed and hopefully will find out
further information.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: EMAIL REDACTED
Date: 17 May 2010 12:08
Subject: FOI Request – Digital Economy Bill
To:

Ref No: 10/0699

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your email of 23 April where you sent a revised request
for the following information:

“Minutes of meetings which took place in August 2009 between Lord
Mandelson and David Geffen. I would also like to see all emails
relating to the proposed digital economy bill from August 2009,
September 2009 and October 2009 which were sent between Sion Simon,
Lord Mandelson & Stephen Timms.”

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’), you have the right to:

·        know whether we hold the information you require

·        be provided with that information (subject to any exemptions
under the Act which may apply).

I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and
electronic records, I have established that the information you
requested is not held by this Department.

Appeals procedure

If you are unhappy with the result of your request for information,
you may request an internal review within two calendar months of the
date of this letter. If you wish to request an internal review, please
contact me.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

          Information Commissioner’s Office
          Wycliffe House
          Water Lane
          Wilmslow
          Cheshire
          SK9 5AF

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Yours sincerely,

NAME REDACTED

NAME REDACTED | Digital Economy Bill Manager | Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills | 1 Victoria Street London SW1H 0ET

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is building a
dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for
business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and
giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve
this we will foster world-class universities and promote an open
global economy. BIS – Investing in our future

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The Guy from “Windows” he say “omg”

Posted by on Saturday, 15 May, 2010

Got this through from my dad this morning:

Guy called on landline yesterday saying he was from "windows" asking if I was aware that my computer was being seriously affected by viruses (don't think he used that word) and wanted to access the computer whilst I was sitting at it. I didn't feel convinced he was real and asked him to email his request and contact details. He said "OMG" and that he couldn't do that. I said I hadn't noticed any warnings or deterioration on my laptop. He said OMG again and that Windows couldn't email it's customers every time it notifed them of a problem. I ended the call What do you think?

Thankfully, dad is not easily fooled and didn't give the guy access but I have no doubt that someone will be fooled by it. I haven't read about this particular attempted fraud anywhere else but am sure it is happening. Anyone else experienced this?

Conservatives & Lib Dem Pact

Posted by on Thursday, 13 May, 2010

I've just been reading the Pact between the Conservatives & Lib Dems and I must confess I have not so far thrown my laptop across the room in frustration. There are some elements of it that I find a bit disturbing, like this:

This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour.

The campaign at http://noto55.com/ says a good deal about this.

The section that I really like is listed below:

10. Civil liberties
The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of
civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion.
This will include:
    –    A Freedom or Great Repeal Bill.
    –    The scrapping of ID card scheme, the National Identity register, the next generation of
         biometric passports and the Contact Point Database.
    –    Outlawing the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission.
    –    The extension of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater
         transparency.
    –    Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
    –    The protection of historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
    –    The restoration of rights to non-violent protest.
    –    The review of libel laws to protect freedom of speech.
    –    Safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation.
    –    Further regulation of CCTV.
    –    Ending of storage of internet and email records without good reason.
    –    A new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

I think that the above is a vital piece of policy and am delighted to read it. The labour government managed to bring in a large amount of policies designed to infringe our civil liberties and this great repeal is music to my ears. The only item I see missing is the repeal of the Digital economy Act which was so undemocratically pushed through in washup by the corrupt Mandleson.

Skype microphone issues on Acer Aspire one running ubuntu

Posted by on Thursday, 13 May, 2010

This link has helped me to get skype working properly on my acer aspire one netbook on ubuntu 10.04 – a very easy fix and can now make and receive skype calls :) Appears to be something to do with stereo or mono inputs.

Loved this picture

Posted by on Friday, 7 May, 2010
Dontsitonthefence