Digital Economy Act is challenged in UK

8 Lug/10

The UKs leading Internet service providers, BT and TalkTalk are set to seek a judicial review of the controversial Digital Economy Act, as reported by the BBC.  The two ISPs are reported to want the UK’s High Court to clarify the legality of the act prior to it coming into force.

The act was one fo the last  actions of the UK’s Labour government before the general election last may that saw them thrown out by British voters in favour of a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition.  It was controversial legislation that many felt was rushed through parliament without proper scrutiny.

The act allows for the disconnection of persisten illegal file sharers from the Internet, and rights for copyright holders to block websites sharing illegal content.

Critics including TalkTalk said that the new law would potentially criminalise the innocent who, due to the complexity of computers and network security, may not be aware of someone else in their property sharing files and who may accidentally leave their wireless network open to abuse by others.

Under thelegislation, persisten file sharers would be placed on a blacklist, a copy of which could be shared with copyright owners.

The current government has the right to repeal any previous legislation and, during the election campaign, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said that the Digital Economy Act “badly needs to be repealed”.

Despite this the coalition told the BBC it has no plans to repeal it.

“The Digital Economy Act sets out to protect our creative economy from the continued threat of online copyright infringement, which industry estimates costs the creative industries, including creators, £400m per year,” read a statement from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

“We believe measures are consistent with EU legislation and that there are enough safeguards in place to protect the rights of consumers and ISPs and will continue to work on implementing them.”

© Mike Halsey for gHacks Technology News, 2010. | Permalink | Add to, digg, facebook, reddit, <a href=" Economy Act is challenged in UKstumbleupon, twitter
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