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DIGITAL ECONOMY ACT CHALLENGED IN HIGH COURT

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The Digital Economy Act came into force in January this year. However, last week the status of its anti-piracy provisions was still in question as the internet service providers BT and TalkTalk brought an action in the High Court to challenge them, arguing that they disproportionately favour intellectual property rights holders.

The provisions in question require service providers to slow down or temporarily suspend the accounts of users whose details have been collected by film and music providers as being associated with the illegal downloading of files. The Act also gives the Government the power to block access to websites that are found to be infringing copyright.

The ISP’s argue that such provisions are contrary to European privacy laws as they require ISP’s to send out threatening letters on the evidence of the copyright owners alone. They also argue that the legislation is inadequate to deal with the problems of copyright infringement and piracy as they fail to deal with new technological developments and methods of obtaining files.

If the action is successful, the provisions of the Act in question will be unenforceable and the Government will be obliged to re-think its strategy in tackling with intellectual property crime on the internet.

The outcome of the case has not yet been published.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

April 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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