Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Education Coalition Warns ISP Anti-Piracy Act Will Limit UK Internet Access

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 (1:35 pm) - Score 655
illegal uk internet downloading

A huge coalition of eight leading educational organisations, including UK libraries and school groups, has launched a scathing attack on the government’s controversial Digital Economy Act (DEAct) and warned that it “risks limiting internet access” for students and teachers right across the country.

The Act itself aims to impose tough new rules upon internet providers, which in some cases could result in customers being “suspended” (disconnected) from their internet access. Part of the reason for this is because broadband ISPs can at best only identify the connection owner, whom may or may not be the one responsible for committing an offence (i.e. internet copyright infringement).

This becomes a particularly dangerous problem for shared home / business networks (hotels, offices etc.) and educational establishments, where huge numbers of different people make use of such access. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), which leads the coalition, points out that half of people who use the internet in a public space did so in a public library.

Crucially CILIP reminds that the government’s own Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, last year issued a written assurance stating that, “libraries and universities will not be within scope of the obligations” of the Act. Indeed Ofcom’s new Initial Obligations Code does provide for a limited exclusion of libraries but CILIP remains concerned that confusion over the definition of a “subscriber” and “communications provider” could still result in many related establishments being unfairly penalised.

Phil Bradley, President of the CILIP, said:

Under the Act libraries would be treated the same as an individual at home going online. A library acting as an intermediary, providing internet access to hundreds if not thousands of people is fundamentally different from you or I going online at home.

This isn’t about excluding libraries from the Act, it isn’t about breaking copyright law or endorsing piracy – it’s about recognising libraries’ unique role by creating an exception within the Act – which Ofcom are perfectly able to do. Ofcom are already creating an exception for commercial suppliers of WiFi for example.”

It’s easy to understand CILIP’s concern, with Ofcom’s code appearing to be somewhat conflicted. At one point the code seems to exclude such organisations by categorising them as “communication providers” or ISPs, before later claiming to recognise “that there are likely to be cases where such categorisation may be less clear cut“. The British Library argued the “definitions” section was confusing, not mutually exclusive and gave little clarity for public intermediaries.

The coalition supports the intention of the Act – to fight piracy and protect content creators’ rights – but wants Ofcom’s code to be clearer so that “libraries, schools, colleges and universities [are not treated] in the same way as private individuals“. CILIP fears that the act could have the “unintended consequence [of] inhibiting education, learning and the acquisition of knowledge“. Well it’s harder to learn if the plug on your access has been pulled.

CILIP’s coalition, which wants Ofcom to create a separate category to protect them, includes Research Libraries UK, The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, Universities UK, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, the Scottish Library & Information Council, Scotland’s Colleges and the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance.

A consultation on Ofcom’s revised code will be open until 26th July 2012 and, once complete, it will be submitted to the European Commission (EC) for final approval.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar paul

    CILIP fears that the act could have the “unintended consequence [of] inhibiting education, learning and the acquisition of knowledge“. Well you can’t learn if the plug on your access has been pulled.

    The statement above, what rubbish i learned just fine at school and they did’nt have computers back then. I think the standard of teaching was higher with exams being tougher also. Blimey what would they do now if all computers was taken away.

    • I actually meant it’s “harder” to learn and not “you can’t”, which is obviously incorrect 🙂 . It’s also talking about all learning and not just school/education etc. Corrected.

    • Avatar Timeless

      lets face facts tho teaching back then and now are completely different things.. what hasnt changed is the basis of subjects one has to learn.. if the system isnt as good today that would be down to both the teachers and those who choose what children do and dont learn which would ultimately boil down to the government.

      regardless, technology has crept into our lives and has now become something we daily rely on as a means of entertainment, work and education and no matter how you look at it that wont change the only thing that will be different is that newer and more advanced forms of technology will eventually take over what we currently use. this means that regardless of if we like it or not IT has to become a part of the curriculum.. l never learned about computers until l left school however l dont wish to see ppl like that these days, after all pretty much all services from taxes to passport services are moving online which makes IT something we cannot live without, not to mention its educational value for research.

    • Avatar zemadeiran

      We also had horses and carts which transported our forebears adequately….

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2689)
  2. FTTP (2526)
  3. FTTC (1738)
  4. Building Digital UK (1677)
  5. Politics (1571)
  6. Openreach (1537)
  7. Business (1352)
  8. FTTH (1272)
  9. Statistics (1186)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1153)
  11. Fibre Optic (1033)
  12. 4G (996)
  13. Wireless Internet (984)
  14. Ofcom Regulation (983)
  15. Virgin Media (959)
  16. EE (663)
  17. Sky Broadband (648)
  18. TalkTalk (631)
  19. Vodafone (622)
  20. 5G (456)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact