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News

Bloxx Warns Of Business Risk Associated With Downloading Copyright Material

Bloxx : 04 June, 2010  (Technical Article)
UK Businesses need to have adequate security systems in place to prevent their employees from downloading material which may be copyright and therefore infringing the Digital Economy Act
Bloxx, the innovator in Web and Email content filtering, has highlighted the risks faced by UK organisations that may have inadequate security systems and procedures in place to prevent their staff or users from downloading copyright material from the Internet. The Digital Economy Act 2010 ("the Act") received Royal Assent in April of this year creating an obligation on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in certain circumstances to provide customer and user details to copyright holders if evidence is presented to the ISP that copyright material has been unlawfully downloaded. In addition, ISPs may be required to impose "technical measures" such as restriction of services, on their customers if users are found to be infringing copyright.

"Organisations may have assumed that the Act only applies to residential customers, however the Act applies to any broadband subscriber including businesses, schools, colleges and universities," said Stephen Clark, Solicitor and member of the Intellectual Property group at commercial law firm MBM Commercial. "Organisations who, knowingly or otherwise, allow their IT resources to be used to download copyright material could face the same penalties as a residential customer, including degradation of service, bandwidth limitation or account suspension."

A Code of Practice is currently being drawn-up by Ofcom, a draft of which was released on Friday May 28th, which will supplement the provisions contained in the Act, in particular regarding how user information is to be provided to copyright owners and to what extent "technical measures" can be imposed.

"Organisations need to ensure that they put in place adequate systems to prevent their users from accessing sites that host copyrighted material and to block file sharing applications," said Eamonn Doyle, Bloxx Chief Executive Officer. "However, ensuring that they have a robust Acceptable Use Policy that clearly identifies the risk and consequences for users who download copyright material is equally important."

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