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Media companies challenge Digital Economy Act

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BT and TalkTalk have been given permission to appeal against a High Court decision which upheld most of the provisions of the anti-piracy legislation. There has been much criticism of the Act by media companies who argue that it is unfair to hold them responsible for policing their users behaviour.

The Digital Economy Act was introduced by the last government in an attempt to protect creative industries such as music and film from piracy. The Act contains a number of provisions which require internet providers to take action against their users who download pirated material. This includes sending warning letters on the request of right holders such as film and record companies and in the worst cases disconnecting users. The Act has however been attacked for not setting out clearly the measures media companies should take and also under which circumstances they should be undertaken.

BT and TalkTalk are two of the leading internet providers who have publicly criticised the Act. They successfully applied for a judicial review but the decision of the High Court but most of their objections were dismissed. They have now been granted an appeal.

The decision to grant an appeal has not been welcomed by creative industries. John McVay, chief executive of production body PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) responded by saying: “Naturally, we are disappointed at this further delay. However, we respect the decision and are pleased that the appeal hearing will be fast tracked because, in the meantime, online piracy continues to wreak havoc on the legitimate market, threatening jobs and livelihoods.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

October 18, 2011 at 10:35 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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