Archive for February, 2009
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
The Australian Communications and Media Authority ACMA last week announced that it had assessed 44 carriage service providers, and issued formal directions to 2 providers for non-compliance with the financial hardship requirements of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code).
Chapter 7 of the TCP Code deals with Credit Management, and among other things sets out obligations on how CSPs and Carriers must conduct themselves throughout the credit management process, including in cases of financial hardship.
Clause 7.5.1 states:
The ACMA’s formal direction to compel the 2 CSPs in question, to prepare a compliant Hardship Policy, once again underlines the importance of implementing a proper code compliance program, to maintain compliance, before the ACMA is forced to take action. Failure to comply with the formal direction, would result in Federal Court action by the ACMA to compel the CSPs in question.
Unfortunately, many ISPs are not proactive in ensuring compliance, and it is only when the ACMA comes knocking that they realise. This is something that we can assist you to overcome.
We have prepared scores of compliant policies, if you are a CSP who doesn’t comply, give us a call, we can help!
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
ICANN, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has just released the its Draft Applicant Guide Book for applicants wishing to register a new gTLD (top level domain). This brings us one step closer to the reality of new top level domains.
ICANN states that one of its “foundational principles has been to promote competition in the domain-name marketplace while ensuring Internet security and stability.” . With the soon to open gTLD application rounds it is hoped that applicants will apply for new gTLDs, and promote competition in the marketplace for existing gTLDs.
The possibilities appear to be endless, for example some suggestions have come from corporate organisations – for example Coca Cola could apply for the .coke gTLD or Pepsi could apply for the .pepsi gTLD. With a price tag of approximately $200,000, it is not likely that anyone other than corporates or cashed up entrepaneurs will be in a position to launch a gTLD – but it will only be a matter of time before a profitable business model will be developed giving new gTLDs broader accessibility.
As a consequence, ICANN claims that the “expansion will allow for more innovation, choice and change to the Internet’s addressing system, now constrained by only 21 generic top-level domain names. In a world with 1.5 billion Internet users—and growing—diversity, choice and competition are key to the continued success and reach of the global network.”
This is a positive, allowing for more flexibility and competition – but opponents argue that it will diminish the value of existing gTLDs, which are now a very limited commodity in light of the fact that almost all the good generic names have been registered in the existing gTLD space.
Only time will tell…..
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
In what appears to be a systematic global piracy crack down, and hot on the heels of the iiNet case, copyright owners including Warner Bros, MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox Films, Sony BMG, Universal and EMI are seeking approximately $18million in damages from file sharing website The Pirate Bay in a Swedish Court.
In the claim it is alleged that the website was used in the infringement of copyright, by allowing pirated movies, music, software and computer games to be downloaded.
In their defence, The Pirate Bay (yes a very unfortunate name in this type of matter) claims that no copyrighted material is stored on its servers, and no exchange of files actually takes place on them, that they are not responsible for any copyright infringement.
In addition to the potential damages claim, the four men who operate the site could face up to 2 years imprisonment.
The success of cases like this will do very little to stop global intellectual property infringement, but what is may do is reduce the number of people prepared to take the risk of deriving a commercial benefit from operating these types of file sharing sites.
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
The ACCC’s recent action against Internet Service Provider TPG is a timely reminder for Telcos and ISPs looking to use the word ‘unlimited’ in their advertising.
The ACCC announced yesterday that it had sought and received enforceable undertakings (these are for practical purposes, very similar to a Court order) from TPG, for statements which it believed were misleading and deceptive to consumers.
The ACCC alleged that in advertising its Unlimited Cap Save plan, TPG engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by making false representations that its plan:
Besides being a public relations disaster with customers, advertisements which are misleading and deceptive are plain and simple illegal.
TPG learnt the hardway. According to the ACCC, TPG undertook to:
This is not a good outcome, considering this could have so easily been avoided.
Telco’s and ISP must remember that if there are conditions around an offer then they must make it clear what those conditions are. Failure to do so may lead to a breach of s52 and s53 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
It is also a requirement of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code 628:2007 that where the word ‘unlimited’ or equivalent is used that, the Telco or ISP:
It isn’t to hard to comply, just be honest in advertising, and where there are conditions around an offer, let people know. If you are not sure, just ask your lawyer.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
Despite massive public opposition to ISP level internet filtering, the Government is pressing on with its internet filtering trials. We don’t yet know what the result of these trials will be, but the Europeans have developed an alternate approach to the issue of protecting children from harmful content online.
Yesterday was Safer Internet Day across the European Union. The European Commission has developed the Safe Internet Programme which has a budget of 55 million Euros, and which has been running since 2004. According to its website, the programme is aimed at promoting:
It aims to do this by co-funding projects to :
The programme is impressive because it takes a cooperative rather than an imposed position upon website operators. This year’s theme was protection of children on social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and You Tube. This cooperative approach has seen 17 of the leading social networking sites across the internet commit doing more to protect younger internet users.
Is this the solution to all our online child protection issues – not it isn’t but it is a different approach, and may help contribute to the debate on internet filtering.
Monday, February 9th, 2009
The weekend was a devastating time for residents of country Victoria, who suffered the worst fire storm ever seen in Australia – it has now been billed Australia’s worst ever natural disaster. More than 100 people have been confirmed dead and many others have lost their homes and possessions.
We at Cooper Mills were deeply saddened by such carnage and want to use our blog to help raise funds for the victims of the fires. Please donate to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund. We also encourage our friends overseas to also help where they can.
This is a time where all Australians need to bond together in the face of such adversity and help each other. Please dig deep.