StaRs: Time to prioritise, but not to panic
The suggestion by the cross-party ‘Independent Parliamentary Enquiry into Online Child Protection’ (the ‘Enquiry’) that Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) be obliged to implement an ‘Opt-Out’ filter for adult material has been greeted enthusiastically by several news outlets; but would implementing such a proposal really do any good?
The recent release of the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions’ report gives an interesting indication of the future of enforcement of court orders relating to online activity. The document covers a broad range of topics but its section on ‘Online Enforcement’ is key to the technology sector.
It has been reported that Facebook has responded to Yahoo’s recent patent infringement lawsuit by purchasing a portfolio of 750 patents from IBM.
Details of the specifics of the deal are unconfirmed, but there are reports that some (if not all) of the patents relied on in Yahoo’s suit are licensed to it by IBM and that the rights to those very patents may have just been signed over to Facebook. If that is’s the case, Facebook may now be in a position to terminate the licences to Yahoo, which could effectively pull the rug out from underneath its claim. However, if infringements have already occurred, it seems unlikely that Facebook can erase the past.
The Supreme Court’s recent judgement in the case of Flood v Times Newspapers Limited  UKSC 11 is likely to be greeted in muted terms by both online publishers and technology lawyers.
Both groups had hoped that the judgement would clarify the legal status of allegations/implications contained in articles which remain online in their original form even after facts come to light proving that the original allegation/implication was incorrect.
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