UK ISPs lose controversial battle over copyright measures

BT and Talk talk, the two majors ISPs in the UK lost their appeal against the controversial measures to tackle copyright infringement online, imposed by the Digital Economy Act. The ruling brings an end to an almost two years of legal challenges against the legislation by the ISPs.

The Act requires ISPs to send warning letters to users that download copyrighted files. On the third warning the ISP will have the legal power to cut you off the internet.

The decision was welcomed by most copyright advocates.

Christine Payne, general secretary of the Actors’ union Equity, called on the ISPs to “stop fighting and start obeying the law”.

“Once again the court is on the side of the almost two million workers in the creative industries whose livelihoods are put at risk because creative content is stolen on a daily basis,” she said


Responding to the decision this morning in the appeal of the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act, Peter Bradwell of Open Rights Group said:

“There is one thing the court cannot tell us: that this is a good law. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had no evidence when they wrote this Act, except for the numbers they were given by a couple of industry trade bodies. This is a policy made on hearsay and assumptions, not proper facts or analysis.

So significant problems remain. Publicly available wifi will be put at risk. Weak evidence could be used to penalise people accused of copyright infringement. And people will have to pay £20 for the privilege of defending themselves against these accusations.

The Government needs to correct these errors with a proper, evidence-based review of the law.”

Full judgement can be found here r-bt-and-talktalk-v-ss-for-culture-and-others.pdf


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