According to the official Nottinghamshire County
Council Press Release ‘bringing this action was the right thing to do,’
but the Chair of Social Services Tim Bell stated that:
‘We have been faced with a technology running at a pace which exceeds the law’s ability to adopt to deal with it and the best interests of Nottinghamshire people would not be served by running up large bills in difficult areas of law.’The Council even paid the legal costs of one of the defendants, Mr John Gwatkin.
According to Yaman Akdeniz, head of the Cyber-Rights
& Cyber-Liberties (UK) group ‘the decision of the County Council is
probably influenced by the recent decision of the UK police to drop charges
in an 18 month investigation involving the availability of a blasphemous
poem by James Kirkup on the Internet.’
‘The issue in the availability of the JET Report is public interest and freedom of information. The wide availability of the JET Report on the Internet is just another of this kind of colloboration by the netizens on the Internet against nation-states and their local bodies. The global Internet does not recognise boundaries and will resist any attempts by individual governments and law enforcement bodies to suppress or censor information on it.’Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) would like to thank all the netizens involved with the dissemination of the JET Report on the Internet and also to the Internet media who has covered the issue widely so far.
Yaman Akdeniz, also stated that:
‘There are currently 35 mirror sites and every time the County Council tried to stop the publication of the JET Report, their action spawned another dozen mirror sites. This case is reminiscent of the unsuccessful attempts of the UK Government to stop the publication of the Spycatcher novel in 1986 in Australia which involved the memoirs of Peter Wright, a senior officer in MI5 from 1955 to 1976. Spycatcher was also published in the USA and Canada following its initial publication in Australia. As in the case of Spycatcher it proved impossible to stop the publication of the JET Report; the genie is out of the bottle.’‘It may be argued that if the Nottinghamshire CC was successful with their court action that the hypertext links are also copyrightable the outcome would have a chilling effect on the development of the Internet within the UK and elsewhere.’
Last updated 10 September 1997