FAST Lawyers’ Group discusses latest internet copyright and enforcement practices | FAST

FAST Lawyers’ Group discusses latest internet copyright and enforcement practices

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Industry legal group to debate the use of blocking injunctions against websites using 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act

FLAG, the Federation Against Software Theft’s Legal Advisory Group, will hold its first 2013 meeting at the House of Lords on Tuesday 26 March 2013, to discuss hot topics in cyberspace.

The event, hosted by Lord Erroll, Secretary to the All Party Internet Group, will bring together members of the legal community to consider the latest developments in copyright law on the information superhighway. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to receive insights from industry experts including Gordon Harris, head of Intellectual Property and Partner at leading law firm, Wragge & Co, Andrew Orlowski, Executive Editor of The Register and Prof. Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Nottingham.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST, said: “Without fail, copyright law remains very much in the limelight. The software business is largely based on copyright in its dealing with the end customer and this event presents a timely opportunity for IP lawyers to absorb mind share and expertise about issues on the cutting edge. Keynotes will focus on recent simplifying mechanisms to cut off the lifeblood of infringing platforms, whether we have forgotten that IP is transactional in nature amidst the talk of business models, and an opinion will be shared that a hyperlink is not what we thought or think it is in internet copyright law. Should the software industry should follow the music industry in seeking to block websites that are involved in making available illicit copies or the links thereto?”

Gordon Harris, Partner at Wragge & Co a member of FLAG, added: “The power under Section 97A has been the weapon of choice for the content business in seeking to prevent access to certain websites. The statutory law is being honed each time an injunction is secured. High-profile illicit file-sharing sites such as The Pirate Bay and Newzbin 2 were the first but the tactic has now been applied to three hugely popular peer-to-peer file-sharing web sites: H33T, Fenopy and KAT (all based outside the UK). In particular, I will explore the use of simplified court procedure which, with ISP agreement and subject to court approval, means that claimants do not need to locate the operators of the websites before taking disruptive action.”

Prof. Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Professor of Intellectual Property Law, University of Nottingham, warns of IP rights’ restriction on the natural operation of the internet, “the hyperlink simply enables the internet to work. It is not an IP right requiring a licence. European SMEs need the freedom to create and help drive the European digital market.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins concluded: “2013 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in the continual development in internet enforcement techniques and for copyright law. The legal profession is breaking new ground in tackling IP infringements online effectively. The FLAG meeting is a forum in which we can discuss and appreciate the issues on the table.”

Speakers to include:

  • Gordon Harris, Partner of law firm Wragge & Co who will give updates on the latest trends in such online copyright enforcement under s.97A.
  • Andrew Orlowski, executive editor of The Register, British technology news and opinion website, who will be addressing the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in a talk on 'Business Models'.
  • Prof. Dr. Estelle Derclaye, Professor of Intellectual Property law, University of Nottingham, will speak on the topic of hyperlinks considering the Opinion of the European Copyright Society (ECS).

For more information, and to register, please visit: or email

Join FAST and its guest speakers,

10:00 for 10:30 start. Close 12:30
Tuesday 26th March 2013
Committee Room 2,
House of Lords,
Westminster, SW1A