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Digital Economy Act

By Jack Loftus : http://gizmodo.com/5482141/uk-bill-would-outlaw-open-public-wifi-hotspots

If passed, something called the Digital Economy Bill over in the U.K. could do the unthinkable in this, the digital age: Ban open wifi spots.

The ban comes as part of a bill that seeks to limit copyright infringement, or something. In summary, schools, small businesses and even libraries would have to effectively become their own ISP and manage the wifi hotspot—or face hefty fines. Even if a shop password-protected their wifi and posted the PW publicly (as they probably should be doing anyway), this "management" would also entail detailed record keeping, as the bill requires that hotspot providers log users who've been on their network. Sounds fun!

From http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/blog/2010/feb/28/digital-economy-bill-will-kill-wifi-hotspots/ by Philip Hunt

The government have written an explanatory document stating how the Digital Economy Bill will work for libraries, universities and wifi hotspots. According to Lilian Edwards, who is professor of internet law at Sheffield University, the Bill is likely to kill wifi hotspots in places like pubs, cafes, and libraries:

"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," Edwards said.

Brits Could Face Unsecured Wi-Fi Fine

Published in Digital Economy Act

From : http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/brits-could-face-unsecured-wi-fi-fine-7126 by Tom Jowitt

After a German court recently introduced fines for users with unsecured Wi-Fi networks, there are fears that UK users could soon face similar penalties

With the introduction of the Digital Economy Act, UK users may soon face the prospect of a fine if they do not password-protect their Wi-Fi networks.

This article is from http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/may/28/digital-economy-act-isps-data - Richard Wray

The UK's largest internet service providers will start collecting the details of customers who unlawfully download films, music and TV programmes early next year, in order to send them warning letters under a code of practice proposed today by the media regulator Ofcom.

The draft Ofcom code was immediately denounced by the UK's second largest ISP as a "bureaucratic dog's breakfast".

Any internet user who receives three letters in the space of 12 months faces having their personal details handed over to the owner of the copyrighted material so they can be sued.

This article is from http://thenextweb.com/uk/2010/06/16/why-you-offer-free-wifi-in-the-uk-at-your-own-risk/ Posted on Jun 16th, 2010 by Steve Kennedy

As we reported earlier, Starbucks is keeping tight-lipped about any plans it might have to bring free, ‘one click’ wifi to the UK. With good reason – free wifi is a minefield here.

WiFi in Desert

The old Labour Government rushed through the Digital Economy Act which has provisions to protect copyright holders and as part of this introduced the ’3 strikes rule’ whereby a subscriber of an Internet service could be kicked off after 3 copyright infringements. The legislation is complex and Ofcom were mandated to offer a code of practice for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on how they were going to enforce various aspects of the Act. They published the code of practice as part of a Consultation.

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