PERENNIALLY CONTROVERSIAL anti-piracy efforts such as court-ordered injunctions are open to abuse, according to a paper by researchers at King's College London and the University of Sydney.
The paper's abstract reveals that the researchers compared international mechanisms for closing piracy sites and found some potential problems.
A report on TorrentFreak, where we saw this first, explained that the current system in the UK comes out with a bad report and is seen as the most likely to be perverted.
The UK is not shy of a blocking injunction, and customers of ISPs such as Sky and Virgin Media are often shown a closed door to such sites while those in other nations, or who use proxy tools, roam free.
Streaming sites including Netflix have recently published official policies about such activities. Proxy access and piracy sites are a problem for providers but current provisions may just postpone bigger problems.
At least, this is the proposition put forward in the academic paper entitled The Blocking Injunction: A Comparative and Critical Review of the EU, Singaporean and Australian Regimes.
"This article critically, and comparatively, evaluates the legal basis and key shortcomings of the blocking injunction, which has gained popularity in the EU, Singapore and lately Australia, as an alternative to the extrajudicial 'notice and takedown' approach to enforcing intellectual property rights," said the abstract.
The article concludes that there are problems with the remedy itself and the way in which it is implemented.
"The fact that multiple proceedings have to be filed in order to obtain a global level of enforcement and the possibility of blocking measures being circumvented are problems with the remedy itself," the abstract continued.
"In the EU context, at least, not only does the implementation of the blocking injunction fall short of due process requirements, but the legal basis for the remedy in the context of enforcing trademark rights is questionable.
"Although in the UK a safeguard was incorporated into blocking orders allowing the authors/owners of the content blocked to apply to a court to have the injunction varied or set aside, the lack of a notice requirement under the law may render this safeguard, at best, useless."
The research comes from the Dickson Poon School of Law at King's College London, which we have contacted for more information. µ
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