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UK Government Tried To Make It Harder To Appeal Three Strikes Accusations

from the noticing-a-pattern? dept

Back when the legacy entertainment industry and US ISPs announced a "voluntary" six strikes plan to deal with those accused (but not convicted) of copyright infringement online, we noted that the agreement seemed to bend over backwards to make the appeals process hard. Not only does it cost money to appeal, but your appeals options are greatly limited. For example, claiming that something is in the public domain? Yeah, that's not allowed unless it's a pre-1923 work. So, basically, even if you're using a more modern public domain work, anyone can accuse you of infringement, racking up your strikes and you can't appeal it using the most obvious appeal.

It's beginning to look like that sort of limited list is all a part of the bigger plan by such [insert random smallish number here] strikes plans. Some "leaked" documents in the UK show that the government (and take one wild guess who asked them to do this...) asked the regulators at Ofcom to limit the ability to appeal:
The Government has asked Ofcom to remove a catch-all in the appeals process which allowed appeals to be made on "any other reasonable ground."

This catch-all was previously thought necessary, as the list of grounds for appeal was "non-exhaustive" and may need updating as technology evolves. Justice for internet subscribers is now dependent on Ofcom coming back with an exhaustive list of appeal grounds in the redrafted IOC; and, keeping this list up-to-date as technology evolves (and, presumably, updating the legislation in Parliament and notifying each update to the EC).
It looks like Ofcom may have pushed back and doesn't appear supportive of such an effort, but it really does make you wonder what the industry is so afraid of. If it gets to punish people based solely on accusations, it's flat-out crazy not to allow them to appeal on any reasonable basis.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ben (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:44am

    Is there punishment for false accusations?

    If not, we can start accusing those in power of downloading things and see how they like it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:04am

    Re: Is there punishment for false accusations?

    When appeal process is removed, there will be no "false accusations".

    So go ahead if you want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:33am

    Re: Is there punishment for false accusations?

    Their super secret methods can not be questioned, so they are assumed to be perfect.
    Mind you nothing is perfect, and the tracking of these types of things can be perverted and sometimes downright wrong.
    But that does not matter, we are loosing kajillions of dollars! Get us our money back! And no we won't pay any more in taxes or help the economy, so spend more to protect our business!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:35am

    People in the U.K. should make it harder not to find the illegal stuff, just to be nice to those people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:46am

    A bit late with this

    Mike - you're a bit late with this one - I posted a story about the badly redacted document that this comes from a month ago - but you didn't run with it ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:49am

    Re: Is there punishment for false accusations?

    we can start accusing those in power of downloading things and see how they like it.

    Sadly you have to join the "club" before you can start sending accusations - ordinary people won't be allowed to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Manabi (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:54am

    Re: Is there punishment for false accusations?

    Of course there's not any, the ones making all the accusations will be in the pay of the large media companies and they're special, they don't have to play by the same rules everyone else does.

    The media companies pushing these laws think they are always right, IP addresses always identify a person (and the correct one at that) and you're guilty, period. They're just throwing us a bone giving us any possible defenses at all because they simply don't believe in our being innocent. Even if one proves they're innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt (like say, being dead at the time the infringement occurred) they're still guilty as far as the media companies are concerned.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Is there punishment for false accusations?


    When appeal process is removed, there will be no "false accusations".

    So go ahead if you want.


    That would be excellent. The harder the system cracks down, the greater the collatteral damage.

    Copyright enforcement driven to its logical conclusion should hopefully destroy itself sooner than later.

    If the law is changed to make owners of wireless hotspots criminally liable, setting up relatives of prominent politicians and lobbyists for child pornography and file sharing is the way to go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Manabi (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:56am

    Re:

    Wouldn't work, they'd still blame the resulting drop in income on piracy. You simply can't convince those people that they're losing money due to anything but piracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    herbert, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 4:18am

    and of course, no one in the UK government received any 'incentives' to try to stop anyone from appealing. just as Mandelson didn't receive anything when he first got involved with the UK DEA and got it forced through during the 'wash up' period before the last General Election there.

    anyone see those pigs fly over?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 5:59am

    Someone should start accusing the UK politicians of infringing on their websites with vague web design patents to get them kicked off the Internet.

    See how long it would take them to change the laws when all the party leaders like Gorden Brown had been kicked off the Internet for being accused of infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    James Firth, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 6:12am

    Re: A bit late with this

    That was the Site Blocking report, released the same time as the report into reducing cost of appeals. At the time I believed the appeals doc was *properly* redacted, but maybe I didn't grab a copy in time. Or maybe it *was* properly redacted, but someone leaked it anyway?

    @JamesFirth

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: A bit late with this

    Now that you mentioned, now I see why the MAFIAA wants no recourse, because it make it cheaper for them :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Call me Al, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    I doubt it would help. Our MPs are a duplicitous lot. Chances are they'd just write in a specific exemption for MP websites. They've done something similar on other occasions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Jimr (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 7:51am

    Yes you are more than welcome to appeal as long as you do not try to appeal.

    Appealing is not part of the appeal process. Didn't you get the memo?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: A bit late with this

    AH yes - I was a little confused by your wording - but I guess they had the same problem with both reports.

    Still think MIke should have covered the other one though - esp. since its failings were so ironic!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Time to sign the petiton

    Could all UK readers please sign the petiton to repeal the Digital Economy act so we can get rid of this nonsense!


    The old Downing St Petition got over 30,000 signatures - but that site is dead now so we all need to sign the new one which is here:

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/11

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 9:45am

    Re: Time to sign the petiton

    I'm sorry the Prime Minister has declared that as a sight that lets people organize, and as they can only be used to start riots the site has been banned in the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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