Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications has declared that access to 1MB broadband is a legal right. This is significant as it recognizes that much of what we do in today's world requires the net, from renewal of government documents like driving licenses to education to access to health services to engagement in the civic process by filing comments and forms with our local and national governments.
It's also significant because the EU is trying to pass legislation on behalf of the record industry that would require European ISPs to cut off your Internet access if you were accused -- without proof or a court case -- of infringing copyright. Recognizing that broadband is a right makes this much harder to square with norms of justice and human rights.
According to the report, every person in Finland (a little over 5 million people, according to a 2009 estimate) will have the right of access to a 1Mb broadband connection starting in July. And they may ultimately gain the right to a 100Mb broadband connection.
Just more than a year ago, Finland said it would make a 100Mb broadband connection a legal right by the end of 2015. Wednesday's announcement is considered an intermediate step.
France, one of a few countries that has made Internet access a human right, did so earlier this year. France's Constitutional Council ruled that Internet access is a basic human right. That said, it stopped short of making "broadband access" a legal right. Finland says that it's the first country to make broadband access a legal right.
Finland makes 1Mb broadband access a legal right
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits.
In 2014, Britain strode boldly into the late 20th century, finally legalising “private copying” — ripping CDs, taping LPs, recording TV shows, backing up your ebooks and games — but now it’s thought better of the move.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
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