While anti-piracy legislation is at a standstill in the US, the path was cleared in the UK today for the Digital Economy Act, a law that requires Internet providers to crack down on suspected pirates. London’s Court of Appeals thwarted a challenge to the Act from two of the country’s leading broadband companies, TalkTalk Telecom and the BT Group, by upholding a lower court’s decision that the Act is consistent with European laws. The move allows officials to finally begin implementing the legislation which has been slow to move forward since it was originally established in 2010. Under the Act, rights holders will inform ISPs when they have suspicions of material being illegally downloaded. The ISPs will then be required to alert suspects in writing under a graduated response system that could ultimately result in penalties. The 2 operators in question contended that it was not for them to police their customers, citing excessive costs and the question of invasion of privacy. The decision comes a little less than 2 months after the US put the controversial PIPA and SOPA bills on hold. Industry groups in the UK today welcomed the news. Lavinia Carey, chief of the British Video Association, said the org was “delighted that the Government can now press on with implementation of notice-sending under the 2010 Digital Economy Act. The video industry generates the single largest source of returns on investment for film
Kip Meek has been appointed non-executive chairman of Project Canvas, the joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk and Arqiva to create on-demand TV. Meek will step down from his consulting job at Ingenious Media. There’s been talk that Orange, the French mobile phone company, may join Project Canvas. Five dropped out earlier this month because of budget restraints.
Set to be called YouView, Canvas could transform the way we watch TV here in Britain. Canvas will convert your TV into an on-demand portal, where you can watch the output of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five whenever you want. I’m very excited about the implications of Project Canvas. In a few years’ time, I suspect the whole notion of watching linear TV channels is going to seem very quaint.
Kip Meek, head of Ingenious Media’s consulting arm, is set to be named chairman of Project Canvas later this week, according to the Guardian. Project Canvas is the groundbreaking TV service that’s being launched by the UK’s terrestrial broadcasters. Canvas declined to comment.
Meek is seen as a good choice, having been senior policy partner at communications regulator Ofcom. He also has strong ties to the government, having sat with Liz Murdoch on the Conservatives’ creative industries review panel, chaired by ex-BBC boss Greg Dyke.
“He’s a very capable bloke, especially in areas such as broadband,” one media analyst tells me.
Canvas has been rocked by Five dropping out of the project – although its programmes will still available when the service launches early 2011. Five has left the other partners – BBC, ITV and Channel 4 plus telcos BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva – to shoulder its share of the £116 million cost. Five was expected to contribute £16 million a year to help pay for Canvas. But now it’s being fattened up for sale. It may be that Five’s new owner doesn’t want to be saddled with that kind of financial commitment.
Set to be called YouView, Canvas could transform the way we watch TV here in Britain. Canvas will convert your TV into an on-demand portal, where you can watch the output of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five whenever you want. The idea of having linear TV channels could disappear completely.