Uk - Digital Economy Act 2010: Fundamental Flaws and Recommendations

Topics: Copyright infringement, File sharing, Copyright Pages: 9 (3070 words) Published: May 16, 2010
Kings Digital Consultancy Service, King's Digital Consultancy Services Kings College London, 26-29 Drury Lane, 2nd Floor, London. WC2B 5RL. (Example)

Digital Economy Act 2010
Fundamental Flaws and Recommendations

Executive Summary
A report covering three major flaws within the Digital Economy Act 2010 which include issues with public Wi-Fi, how it affects the general public and problems with current legal digital media. These issues will be looked into in detail and then recommendations will follow to suit in order to advise the panel on how to improve the bill from its current state.

Executive Summary2
1.0 Introduction4
2.0 Problems4
2.1 Public Wi-Fi4
2.2 General Public5
2.3 Legal Digital Media5
3.0 Recommendations6
3.1 RE: Public Wi-Fi6
3.2 RE: General Public6
3.3 RE: Legal Digital Media7
4.0 Conclusion8
5.0 References8
6.0 Index9
6.1 Internet Usage Rates9

1.0 Introduction
I am Rhys Regan from Kings Digital Consultancy Service writing this report in support of the reasons behind the implementation of the Digital Economy act. However, I believe it is fundamentally flawed and may cause problems in the not so distant future. The body of this report will be focusing primarily on the online breech of copyright; which includes performers’ rights and details of penalties for infringement. For the purpose of this report I am going to be taking online copyright infringement as unlawful acquisition of digital media for personal or wide scale use; I will not be focusing on other aspects of infringement such as website content theft. 2.0 Problems

Looking at the digital economy bill it is immediately obvious that it has some problems at the core of the bill. I have identified three areas which I believe will be especially problematic. These are the issues surrounding downloading and public Wi-Fi, implications for the general ‘uneducated’ public and problems with current legal digital media. 2.1 Public Wi-Fi

Over recent years in Britain internet usage has surged:
Year| Internet Users| Population| % of Population| % increase since 2000| 2000| 15,400,000| 58,789,194| 26.20%| -|
2005| 35,807,929| 29,889,407| 59.80%| 33.60%|
2007| 38,512,837| 60,363,602| 63.80%| 37.60%|
2009| 48,755,000| 61,113,205| 79.80%| 53.60%|
Source:[Index 6.1] With this the use of wireless networks has been increasing and consequentially Wi-Fi has become available in ever increasing places this is great for the general public but it is feared that introduction of the bill may seriously hinder this technological progress. The ‘legislation will hold owners of open Wi-Fi hotspots liable for any copyright infringement which takes place on their networks’ (Mick, 2010). It will require owners of the hotspots to monitor and log any access to the networks or hire an independent company to do so on their behalf. This will lead too many smaller business’ disconnecting there Wi-Fi as the costs of running this could outweigh the benefits. Lilian Edwards, professor of internet law at Sheffield University states; "This is going to be a very unfortunate measure for small businesses, particularly in a recession, many of whom are using open free Wi-Fi very effectively as a way to get the punters in." Another issue is also surrounding public libraries and Universities, where it is unclear whether the organisations in question are ISP’s (Internet service providers) or subscribers. Government bodies are unclear on what position these larger organisations hold and have left it up to them to decide for themselves. A government document titled ‘Online Infringement of Copyright: Libraries, Universities and Wi-Fi Providers’ states; “The position as regards universities is far more complex”. Lillian Edwards states in response to this document that “they don't know themselves how universities fit into the...
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