Digital Economy Act Delayed

News Article - Friday, 27 April 2012 12:53

By: Kerry Butters Category: Security

The UK’s Digital Economy Act has been delayed again due to "legal challenges” and it’s now thought that the act won’t come into play until 2014. The hold-up is good news for ISPs who can now breathe easy for a little while longer, before being forced to send out warning letters to their customers, that’s if the controversial act ever fully materialises.

The act was originally rushed through and passed by the Labour government in 2010, just before they left power. Since then concerns have been raised from privacy and rights groups, who say that the act is essentially flawed and contravenes human rights.

The Liberals also held at vote at their conference last year to have certain sections of the act repealed.

The act, or at least one aspect to it, will enable the government to force ISPs to send out warning letters to customers suspected of downloading illegal content. People who consistently break intellectual property laws will be threatened with the termination of their internet connection.

The delay is due to the associated code of practice causing hold ups as it is put through a number of processes. According to Ofcom, one reason for the delay is that the code "has been sitting with government for some time.”

It’s expected that the first notices are to be sent out in the first quarter of 2014; it’s then thought that the code will have to go through a number of stages, including a judicial review, before the act is finally implemented.

The Digital Economy Act is just one of a number of legal attempts to curb piracy across Europe. All of them have come in for a huge amount of criticism as it’s thought that governments not only fail to understand the implications to the free web, but are also bowing to pressure from powerful movie conglomerates.

Pressure groups say that the key to tackling piracy is for movie companies to distribute their products in such a way that they can be accessed easily and at a low cost online. Studies have proven that people will pay for movies streamed online or downloadable for a fee, but Hollywood seems to think that this isn’t the best approach to take.

This appears to be mostly due to the costs involved in setting up digital content, although it would seem that the movie mogul’s lawyers must be spending a fortune chasing enforcement acts through courts all over the world.

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