Posts Tagged ‘technology lawyers’
Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
Retail internet and voice service providers are about to see the next wave of regulation from the Australian Government. This time, it is the Australian Communications and Media Authority (‘ACMA’) that is driving the changes.
ACMA is demanding a series of major changes to advertising and sales practices, as well as billing and complaint handling.
It is allowing the industry a short time to adopt the changes ‘voluntarily’ via an updated Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code. If that does not happen, it will enforce its requirements using its own powers.
The ACMA is giving industry five months in which to develop a revised code dealing with the matters that it considers must be changed. If those changes cannot be made within that time, the ACMA will intervene directly to implement its proposals by way of a standard.
Unless the industry adopts the ‘proposals’ in its Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (‘TCP Code’) , ACMA will mandate them. Chris Chapman has now been reported as saying:
“The industry [is] ‘formally on notice’ to reflect the proposed changes in the new TCP code. If the industry doesn’t develop a code that addresses ACMA’s concerns, the ACMA will mandate changes through direct regulation.”
ACMA’s new ‘proposed’ rules
Initially, it will be up to the industry (through Communications Alliance) to redesign its TCP Code to satisfy ACMA. If that fails, a mandatory new industry standard is inevitable.
What should service providers be doing now?
First, it is important to realise that the main points are all locked in – as far as ACMA is concerned. Consultation on the changes is finished. There is room to refine the details, but the headline elements listed above are not negotiable for ACMA.
Second, you should consider whether you want to engage with Communications Alliance about any changes to the TCP Code. These changes will affect you and your sales and delivery processes. If you want to influence the TCP Code process, you’ll need to be prepared. There are only five months left for Communications Alliance to produce a document that satisfies ACMA.
Third, you should start to think about how your business will comply with requirements along the lines of those outlined above. What will your marketing / sales / delivery / complaints handling look like in 2012? Will you be well positioned to prosper in the new environment? How?
Sunday, July 24th, 2011
All states and territories of Australia (except for NSW) have agreed to introduce a new adult R18+ category of classification for computer games.
It is anticipated that current M15+ classified games, which are inappropriate for children will be reclassified to a new R18+ rating. Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor today said that the new classification was required to protect children from adult content, and that the existing refused classification system would be maintained to ensure that the most inappropriate content was not classified.
There has been significant debate on the introduction of a new adult category for computer games, with strong lobbying from the computer games industry. The debate has been ongoing for approximately 9 years.
It is expected that NSW will review and consider the agreement reached including amendments included in the draft proposal.
Thursday, May 19th, 2011
The ACCC has fined Singtel Optus Pty Ltd $178,000 for misleading conduct arising out of its ‘Max Cap’ marketing campaign.
The ACCC’s view is that the Optus’ Max Cap advertisements:
The advertisements at issue contained the Max Cap $49, which wasn’t a cap, but rather the minimum a customer would need to spend.
In commenting on the conduct of concern to the ACCC, acting ACCC Chairman Mr Peter Kell said:
“If you advertise a service as a ‘$49 Max Cap’ when $49 is the minimum that consumers have to pay, then you risk breaching the law by misleading consumers about the cost of the service,” and “Claims that a service allows consumers to call ‘anyone’ are likely to be misleading if the reality is that some types of calls are excluded“.
All ISPs and Telcos should have a process in place to review advertisements, not only to ensure compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 but also the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code.
Tags: Competition and Consumer Act 2010, technology lawyers, Telco Law, Telecom Lawyers, telecommunications law, Telecommunications Lawyers
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
auDA, the Australian Domain Name Regulator has today released the draft recommendations of the 2010 Names Policy Panel for public comment.
The 2010 Names Policy Panel (“the Panel”) have considered the following policies (as part of auDA’s request for a review):
Public comment on the draft recommendations will be open until Friday 10 June 2011. A full copy of the draft recommendations are available from the auDA website.
The draft recommendations clearly show a reluctance by the auDA Panel to change the excessively regulated .au domain space. Among some of the draft recommendations, the Panel has recommended that:
The public are encouraged to provide feedback to the Panel – a copy of the draft recommendations can be found here.
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.