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.

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Comments on “UK Government Tried To Make It Harder To Appeal Three Strikes Accusations”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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!

Manabi (profile) says:

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.

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