Why the DE Act is not in breach of EU law?

I have finally finished my summary of the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. [here]. I have posted it on this blog backdated it to 21st April 2010, since that is the day after the judgement was delivered, and close to when I started it.  It’s a hard read, and I am not sure my summary is much easier. It’s clearly taken a long time to read the judgement and write my review in hours taken and from when I started, for that I apologise. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading.

The ruling states that,

  1. the DE Act is not a technical regulation and thus does not need to be notified to the EU Commission as part of the legislative process, although the subsidiary Ofcom regulations will.
  2. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU’s E-Commerce Directive because the ‘mere conduit’ defence is not absolute, it does not require ‘general monitoring’, and copyright protection measures are excluded from the domain of the ECD.
  3. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU or UK Privacy and Data Protection laws because copyright enforcement measures are permitted processing measures under the Law.
  4. the DE Act does not conflict with the EU’s Authorisation Directive since the AD does not prohibit amendment or supplementary regulation, however it does invalidate some aspects of the proposed cost sharing order.
  5. the claimants fail to prove that the DE Act and its parliamentary passage was sufficiently disproportionate to warrant being struck down i.e. that intellectual property rights are balanced against the rights of ISSPs and citizens by Parliament.

The ruling made no comments on the proportionality of any “Technical Measures” since they have not been drafted, agreed or promulgated.

The court made no comment on whether a law requiring “careful balance” on the issues of “fundamental rights” should be passed using the unprecedented accelerated procedures of House of Commons’ Wash-up. This process meant that the possibly 100’s of hours of review time spent by elected politicians was avoided. (The Commons spent under 10 hours considering the Bill.)

Judge Parker refused the claimants the right to appeal, but this has now been granted on all grounds except that the DE Act breaches the E-Commerce Directive by imposing a duty of general monitoring.  This was reported by the Guardian [here] and Linx [here]. …

The Digital Divide in the UK

While researching another blog article, I was pointed at the ONS’ Statistical Bulletin, “Internet Access – Households and Individuals, 2011“. This reports that 77% (up from 73% last year) of UK Households have internet access, and 79% of internet users think they can protect their privacy. (Yeah right!)

They ask those who do not have the internet “Why not?” and the reasons are, price of equipment, lack of skills or lack of need. I’d be interested in those who find the cost of connection too high? …

Program or be Programmed, it starts at school

It would seem that even the IT industry is fed up with England’s IT education syllabus. A number of IT companies, most of them US subsidiaries have issued a “report” seeking to influence the quality of IT teaching in England. In an article, called “Coding the New Latin”, the BBC report,

Today, the report is dated 28th Nov, the likes of Google, Microsoft and other leading technology names will lend their support to the case made to the government earlier this year in a report called Next Gen. It argued that the UK could be a global hub for the video games and special effects industries – but only if its education system got its act together


A Nordic morning

Just back from a trip to Guildford, to the Scandinavian Fair. We now have some Xmas presents for others, a hat for me, and some snacks with which to watch “The Killing”.

Copenhagen, taken from Wikipedia's Copenhagen page

No pickled fish unfortunately, but we made up for that on the way home. …