UK anti-piracy law to go ahead after ISPs appeal fails

UK anti-piracy law to go ahead after ISPs appeal fails

Summary: The UK's Digital Economy Act, which forces ISPs to send out notifications to alleged file-sharers who infringe copyright, will go ahead after the two largest ISPs' appeal fails.

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BT and TalkTalk, the two largest broadband providers in the UK, have lost an appeal over measures in which ISPs would be forced to act as copyright infringement 'police' on their networks.

Their bid to overturn a High Court decision backing the measures, which is thought to help claw back the thought to be £400 million lost each year in lost revenue, was turned down this morning.

ISPs will now have to send letters to alleged copyright infringers and file sharers warning them that their service could be cut off and barred from accessing the Web.

For ISPs, filters and blocks will have to be put in place at their expense, which will surely be passed onto the customer in higher broadband fees. For customers, it could result in users being cut off from the Web.

BT with 8 million users, and TalkTalk with 4 million users, makes up around one-tenth of the UK population.

The ISPs had argued that the Digital Economy Act, which was rushed through Parliament during the last few days of the previous Labour government, was incompatible with European law. Today's appeal closes two years of legal challenges, and confirms that it is compatible with Europe.

This comes only weeks after the controversial SOPA bill in the United States was shelved.

The anti-piracy law also faced further criticism after UK government officials admitted it has 'no evidence' to support the Digital Economy Act.

Image source: Taro Taylor/Flickr.

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Topics: Piracy, Broadband, Censorship, Government, Legal, BT

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8 comments
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  • Bend Over

    Like I said in a previous post a couple of months ago, how far can you Brits bend over?
    Goldie07
    • About as far as

      Comcast bends over for the US Government and the RIAA and MPAA. Case in point I know someone who was on Comcast that was illegally downloading some episode of a TV series and that person was sent a C&D letter by Comcast for that download - specifically named that download - and was told any further acts of illegal downloading would result in the termination of that person's account and possible jail time. This happened quite a few years ago.

      One of a great many reasons why I would never use Comcast - there is NO law here in the US stipulating ISPs as "internet police" Comcast did that on their own which is an invasion of privacy IMHO.
      athynz
      • How's that?

        How on earth do you see Comcast forwarding a complaint they recieved from either RIAA or MPAA as an invasion of privacy?? You are talking apples and oranges here. Having ISP's install and monitor filters etc. is far different from an outside source complaining and giving details to Comcast.
        spin498
    • Pretty far, it looks like

      But then this is the country that is addicted to CCTVs and spying on you in the bathroom.
      ScorpioBlack
  • What's so "great" about Britain anyway?

    Classic case of runaway bureaucracy and the hobbling of an economy by over regulation.
    Dr_Zinj
  • They forget that people can still just talk to each other too.

    What do they do when the "public" uses face to face file transfer? Here's the DVD I made for you.
    trm1945
  • Indignity

    Not only are the clients now being spied upon, they'll be paying out of pocket to get screwed over. We all know that whatever else goes on, this cost will be passed to the consumer.
    spin498
  • I didn't realise illegal immigration had gotten that bad!!

    "BT with 8 million users, and TalkTalk with 4 million users, makes up around one-tenth of the UK population."

    Last time I noticed the UK population was (officially) in the 60-70 million range, not 120m!!
    boycottFUD