back to article BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin to appeal website blocking ruling

The Court of Appeal in London must maintain the right of brand owners to obtain website blocking orders against internet service providers as a means of enforcing their trade mark rights against infringers, an expert has said. The Court is expected to hear an appeal by BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk and Virgin in April against a 2014 …

  1. Richard Wharram

    This is the ISP's job now is it?

    What next? Blasphemous websites? Unwelcome news?

    Spaffbadgers and pisslamps the lot of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is the ISP's job now is it?

      Next will be websites hosting evidence of crimes committed by the 1%

      </cranky old git>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is the ISP's job now is it?

        Didn't you get the memo? Everything Internet related (in any way, no matter how big a stretch) is now the ISP's job - otherwise the legal profession would have to stay up to date with technology, like the rest of us.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: This is the ISP's job now is it?

      The point, I think, is that it's the ISPs job to block copyright infringement but not trademark I fringement, according to parliament. But the judge has ruled both, seemingly outside of his remit.

      That makes sense in terms of legal precedence because the ISP is contributing to copyright violation by copying the bits in transit so should stop once notified. The trademark bit doesn't make sense because the ISP isn't contributing to the manufacture.

      So I hope the judge is overturned. I also hope, possibly unpopularly, that the brand owners and Google/Bing form some form of voluntary "this site looks like a scam" register (or CC database) to warn people that they're buying counterfeit.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: This is the ISP's job now is it?

        It is the High Court, therefore it is within the remit of the Judge to make English and Welsh Common Law. The Appeal Court and, ultimately, the Supreme Court (UK) can agree, or not, with him/her.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is the ISP's job now is it?

        I think the problem is that this law can and likely will be misused by so many 'premium' brand owners to ban grey imports from companies who exploit market variations to offer goods at lower prices than the official supply chain and any voluntary register of scam sites is similarly likely to be abused, designer goods companies already have form in attempting to knock down people selling genuine goods by claiming they're infringing.

        I'm also thinking of high tech goods like DSLR cameras, Amateur radio transceivers etc where importing from America or outside the EMEA areas can yield worthwhile savings on goods that have 'worldwide' warranties.

        I agree that the sites selling cheap tat knock offs of 'designer' goods should be curtailed but I don't think this is the right way to do it.

        What the rigth way is, I have no idea.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    So by the same logic the Royal Mail and all couriers must block certain people from sending packages and mail.

    What next ?

    The Royal mail and other couriers will then be asked to open every single parcel and envelope to inspect them for copyright infringing material.

    A ludicrous situation that the idiots in wigs and dressing gowns fail to grasp the absurdity of let alone the infringement of civil liberties.

    1. King Jack
      WTF?

      My local post office demands that you tell them what is inside any parcel you attempt to send. I'm sure that is illegal but you can get it sent by lying. I always tell the nosey cow that it is a dildo (minus batteries).

      1. Pax681

        LOL!

        wel that's hilarious because.. dildo's don't have batteries, vibrators do. similar but different!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LOL!

          Technically, vibrators (at least the penis-shaped ones) are a subset of dildos. So it would be more correct to say that not all dildos use batteries, but vibrating ones do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: LOL!

            Not all vibrators use batteries either.

            Historical ones were hand-cranked.

            1. Mutton Jeff

              Re: LOL!

              Trevor (Graham) Bayliss?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: LOL!

            Vibrators pre-date the days of battery power.

            Not sure I fancy the idea of a steam powered one though having seen what happens when steam powered toys go wrong.

            There were clockwork ones too.

            1. dervheid

              Re: LOL!

              a leaky steam-powered vibrator!

              Oooh. Feel the BURN!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ King Jack

        Brilliant :)

        +1

      3. Graham Marsden
        Happy

        @King Jack

        > I always tell the nosey cow that it is a dildo

        The ladies at my local Post Office already know that I sell Leather BDSM gear and sex toys, so they don't even bother asking :-)

        (If I ever go to another Post Office I just pre-empt the question by saying "It doesn't contain batteries, perfumes, aerosols or anything explosive or illegal...)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @King Jack

          "The ladies at my local Post Office already know that I sell Leather BDSM gear and sex toys"

          Customers?

          1. Graham Marsden

            @Doctor Syntax - Re: @King Jack

            > Customers?

            Please, my professional ethics mean I will not reveal whether someone is or is not a customer.

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            .

            PS your Macho Big-Boy Bondage Harness will be in the post on Monday...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "My local post office demands that you tell them what is inside any parcel you attempt to send."

        I recently received some 300mah Ni-Mh batteries from Farnell that I wanted to return as they were not the desired form factor (my mistake). I then realised that I was almost certainly going to have a argument discussion with the Post Office counter assistant when they asked "any batteries?". I was in no mood to be a barrack room lawyer*** - so they went in the "useful bits" box.

        *** The Royal Mail regulations permit batteries of that capacity as long as they are in unopened manufacturer's packaging.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      From the RM website

      "You are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited or restricted. If you send prohibited goods or restricted goods (and you do not comply with the relevant terms and conditions), we may deal with your items as we see fit, including but not limited to, disposing of the parcels concerned (in whole or in part)."

      If it was ruled prohibitive and Royal Mail found out, eg by packaging coming apart, then perhaps they might have to get rid of it.

      Though at the moment restricted and prohibited is around safety rather than customs.

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Meh

      @readinthereg

      Whilst I agree with your sentiment, your analogy breaks down.

      The situation is more like the Post Office being asked to maintain a list of addresses it wont accept mail for. The package type or package contents are irrelevant.

      Then the inevitable workaround for a punter is to use Tor or a VPN which is like posting using a forwarding address in a region where the post offices list is not checked.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The situation is more like the Post Office being asked to maintain a list of addresses it wont accept mail for. The package type or package contents are irrelevant."

        Either way, as long as the appeal either finds that this applies to RM / international postal services, or finds that the original judge has just proven the law is an ass and the Court admits that, I'll be happy.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Department for Transport has a lot to answer for

    in facilitating the movement, distribution of counterfeit goods.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Department for Transport has a lot to answer for

      Do the Royal mail and couriers accept such items from the suppliers for shipment? That appears no different from the role that the ISPs are being deemed legally to play.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Department for Transport has a lot to answer for

      Don't even say it.

      MPAA and RIAA will have the roads in and out of every car boot and jumble sale closed down as some dodgy geezer has been flogging REAL bootleg copies of movies he's burned to DVD himself.

      Then we'll all be in the shit.

  4. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Using the judgement, all roads, ports, airports, airlines should be close or grounded as they assist in the distribution of the fake products. Typical judge, talking out of his fat corporate loving backside !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Using this judgement,the analogy would be importers must take reasonable steps to prevent the import of illegal counterfeit goods, and being informed that a shipping container is full of the stuff should be enough to have it stopped on the docks and Customs invited to investigate the contents.

      If an importer ignores a warning that a container contents is illegal, and that is then intercepted, I'm sure a judge will take a dim view of them ignoring the law.

      By your analogy, the judgement is that ISPs should block all access to the whole of the internet, because it can be used to order fake goods. What it actually says is that ISPs should block access to specific illegal sites.

  5. Alister Silver badge

    My first reaction is as everyone else has said:- why is it the ISP's job to block access to these sites.

    On reflection though, if these sites are hosted in a country where the local government and law-enforcement have no interest in cooperating, how do you get these sites shut down at source?

    Much as I hate to say it, I do see how asking the ISPs to ban access to these sites may be the only effective way of stopping them profiting from their fake merchandise.

    1. zaax

      Block that range of IP address, if the block includes a whole country so be it.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Block it where? The ISP's firewalls ?

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Analogy ...

      IMO it is censorship, pure and simple. AFAIAA it is not illegal to buy counterfeit goods. It is akin to jamming radio signals from overseas stations because the government does not like its content.

  6. Andy 97

    It's as if nobody's ever heard of VPN or something.

    1. Kaltern

      Joe public hasn't. And that's really what this is all about - stopping Joe (or Jean, must be gender indifferent musn't we) public from getting free stuff that they would have paid for had it not been available for free - don't forget, every copy is a lost sale. (I'm sure Picasso would be having some words by now if he were alive)...

      Us clever people know what VPN's are, but you mention it to Doris on the highstreet who likes to listen to Welsh Folk music on Spotify, that her 15yr old darling grandson set up for her, she'd look at you with a blank stare, much as if it were an answer on Pointless.

  7. pewpie

    By that rationale..

    Sky should block themselves for broadcasting counterfeit news and entertainment.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the UK. You don't "appeal a ruling", you appeal *against* it.

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