Archive for the ‘ISPs’ category

Leaseweb update

December 3, 2007

Not much reporting on this but most of the public BT indexes did leave Leaseweb by the Dec 1 deadline and most did leave Holland. Holland still hosts a large number of private trackers, with many of them residing at Leaseweb. Still, it appears to show that pressure on an ISP can result in services moving. The content industry faces the challenge of making forced migration a painful  cost of doing business and as such a hurdle to staying in operation. The fallout from this will probably show just how easy it is to move to another country and continue operations.

More ISP action. This time Holland.

November 26, 2007

The music industry has been focusing some of it’s anti-piracy action on ISP’s. As reported in France it seems to be moving forward apace with some level of agreement between ISPs, content owners and the government.

In Holland, music industry body BREIN has been hassling ISP LeaseWeb to the point where they want Bit Torrent indexes to clear off by Dec 1 – see http://torrentfreak.com/forced-exodus-of-bittorrent-sites-071122/ 

This may not seem that significant until you consider that Netherlands has been somewhat a safe haven and LeaseWeb has been ISP of choice in that haven, at one time or another providing homes for indexes and/or trackers such as Torrentportal.com , Btjunkie.org , Btmon.com , Meganova.org , MyBittorrent.com , Sumotorrent.com , Bitenova.nl , Slotorrent.net , Stmusic.org ,  and Speedtorrent.to

Now will all these sites move to other ISP’s in Holland – such as KDIS, EuroAccess or TrueServer – or will the other popular Dutch ISP’s feel the same way as LeaseWeb? I don’t know what made LeaseWeb take this action but it must have been a commercial decision or one provoked by possible costly legal proceedings .

One other question. Where is the film industry in all this current anti-piracy activity?

“The advent of a civilised internet” … in France

November 23, 2007

These were President Sarkozy’s words this morning as he oversaw the signing of an agreement between the content industries, ISPs and the French government. This agreement is the outcome of the Olivennes commission which was convened earlier this year to look into ways to diminsh online piracy. In Europe this may be looked back on as a defining moment in relationships between ISPs and content industries.  

In short the French government is backing the creation of an Administration Authority which on receipt of complaints from content owners (or their chosen administrators) will send messages via ISPs to end users infringing copyright.

First message is a warning to cease infringing activity, second message results in suspension and the third results in the user having their internet account terminated.

The Administration Authority also has the power to sanction ISPs for not acting or to request they implement measures (such as filtering) to prevent further infringing activities.

The quid pro quo?  One year after this process is set up and working the labels will ensure French catalogue is available for conventional download store sale without DRM (excepting subscription models I believe). An Online Piracy Observatory (!) will be established to monitor levels of piracy.

For the film companies they will be committing to diminish the release window between cinema screening and release of DVD which, let’s face it, mid-term will be  their strategy anyway.

It is important to note that this undertaking draws a distinction between the professional pirate and the casual pirate and applies only to the latter.

Consumer groups, such as UFC-Que Choisir have spoken out against this, and it is true there are some issues about establishing an extra-judicial authority to do this kind of thing, but it does get the full weight of the law off the back of the consumer for copyright infringment whilst giving the content companies the roadbloack they want.

Definitely one to watch, but I’m surprised the BBC has missed this one. FT takes a neutral reporting position: 

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/562f2a02-993b-11dc-bb45-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

French ISP enhances offering with (unlicensed) music services

August 29, 2007

Music companies and ISPs have an uneasy relationship at the moment in many European countries as the music industry tries to get ISPs to take some responsibility for the illegal traffic passing through their networks.

Neuf Cegetel, a French ISP, recently announced a new music venture offering free downloads from the Universal Music catalogue to new broadband sign-ups. In response Free.fr announced a new deal with Deezer.com to provide the music for its homepage. Deezer used to be Blogmusik.net and was closed down earlier this year. SACEM, the French publishers society, has licensed Deezer, but Universal Music has asked for its catalog to be withdrawn.

In the Ratiatum article the point is raised that SACEM could grant a license if Deezer was considered like radio, but this is unlikely and as such each music company (like Universal) must strike it’s own deal with the service.

It is not surprising that Free would launch an attack against Neuf Cegetel’s offer, but to do so with a service that has only the agreement of the publishers society is a faux pas in the eyes of the music companies.

Meanwhile Deezer is laughing as it’s traffic of French visitors increases enormously taking it from an Alexa ranking of about 70,000 3 weeks ago to nearer 1,500 this week. Although today the site is down with a note saying it will be back tomorrow – for legal reasons or because it can’t cope with the volume of visitors?

New Zealand over-zealous in changes to copyright bill

August 15, 2007

In New Zealand a government committee has amended a proposed copyright bill with some surprises.

  • Copyright owners are to be fined up to $100,000 for recklesly false takedown notices which seems a bit harsh.
  • ISPs are under no obligation to remove infringing content unless they receive notice from a rights holder even if they know or suspect the content to be infringing copyright
  • A new category of work has been created called a “communication work” which gives news rights of authorship to those involved in it’s transmission.

On this last one what are they thinking? How will these new rights dovetail with existing authorial rights?

The Committee recommended the bill be passed so we’ll keep watching.

European ISP updates

July 13, 2007

The ruling against Tiscali in Belgium provoked comment in the Guardian where one of Jupiter’s analysts Ian Fogg was named as believing that ISPs have a bigger problem with video-sharing because of the bandwidth involved, which is interesting since all of the public action against ISPs seems to be coming from the music industry.

Also in response to the Belgian case, the UK Internet Service Providers Association spoke out against the ruling, saying that “ISPs shouldn’t be set up to play judge and jury”. Despite the quote from telecoms lawyer Danny Preiskel that “we are a way away from reaching a similar decision in the U.K. in imposing such liability” there is clearly appetite within the policital parties for ISPs taking some responsibility, as mentioned by David Cameron at his BPI speech.  I would expect to see some ISPs in the UK voluntarily disconnecting copyright infringers (at least repeat infringers) by the end of the year, thereby avoiding litigious pressure from media owners.

Meanwhile, also on the subject of European ISPs, Slyck reports that BREIN successfully petitioned a Belgian Court to force Leaseweb, a Dutch ISP, to hand over the details of the owner of Bit Torrent index Demonoid,

Leaseweb signed a cease-and-desist undertaking which stipulates that it
will keep Demonoid offline under penalty of 50.000 Euro per day. In
addition Leaseweb supllied the name, adress and bankdetails of their client
to BREIN. 

Demonoid disappeared from Netherlands and popped up again hosted in Canada.

So, as we wrote back in February, ISPs, as gateways to the internet, are fast becoming a target for content owners looking to curb digital piracy. We’ll be focusing more on this area as we drop some of the endless news of the ‘Warners Sues Imeem’ / ‘ Warners Drops Suit Aginst Imeem’ kind.

Belgian court upholds ruling against ISP

July 6, 2007

A potentially significant ruling by a Belgian court that upholds a ruling from 2004 saying that an ISP has responsibility to employ technical measures to try to reduce piracy on it’s networks. The IFPI immediately backed up the ruling as bearing out what they have been saying about ISP’s needing to take responsibility.