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UK’s anti-piracy law delayed: ‘Three-strike’ warnings on hold


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Provisions in the UK’s anti-piracy law to cut off repeat copyright infringers and file-sharers from the Web have been delayed again, this time until 2014.

Provisions and measures under the UK’s Digital Economy Act have been delayed — again.

Plans to send warning letters to those who are caught infringing copyright by file-sharing have been put on ice until 2014, the government department responsible for the law confirmed.

The law would set up a system where a “graduated response” — or three-strike letters — would be sent out incrementally to persistent file-sharers in a bid to prevent them from infringing more, and ultimately having their rights to Internet access revoked.

Broadband cut-off is one of the ‘technical measures’ mentioned in the law, but is only seen as a last resort to extreme offenders.

Ofcom, the communications regulator, had previously said it would start sending out notification letters to file-sharers in mid-2013. But legal challenges and bids from broadband providers to clarify the law have delayed the enacting of the controversial anti-piracy act.

It was passed during the ‘wash-up’ or ‘guillotine’ period towards the end of the last Labour government in 2010. The bill was controversial enough to deter most members of Parliament (MPs), and in the end, less 10 percent of all UK’s representatives voted on the bill.

Broadband providers BT and TalkTalk through joint legal proceedings pushed back the issuing of the warning letters, which were due to be issued from 2011 onwards. They had argued the law was in breach of European law, but were unsuccessful in their challenges.

The UK government also faced added criticism after questions were raised in a Parliamentary committee pertaining to the evidence for the bill. One civil servant responsible for implementing the draft laws said there was ‘no evidence’ to support the new anti-piracy law.

With 2015 being an election year, the law will no doubt be a contentious topic. With the Labour government drafting and implementing the law, and the now Conservative-led coalition government pushing through its measures, it will be a hot topic for the politicians on the soapboxes.


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We've dodged a bullet for the time being but it's only a matter of time before the Digital Economy Act becomes law,the lobbyists working for the MPAA will be going into overdrive at Westminster.

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UK Anti-FileSharing Letters Delayed Until 2014

The implementation of the UK’s controversial anti-piracy legislation, the Digital Economy Act, has been delayed again.

The confirmation, which was delivered yesterday by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, means that UK Internet users suspected of engaging in unlawful file-sharing won’t see any warning letters for nearly 2 years, or more.

“We expect the first warning letters to go out in early 2014,” a DCMS spokesman told ZDNet UK. “This is due to the rulings in the judicial review of the DEA. The court ruled in the government’s favour in both the judicial review and the appeal court; however it ruled against small parts of the cost sharing.

“Therefore the Cost Sharing Statutory Instrument will need to be changed, and as a result Ofcom will need to change their code. Both will be published when they are ready.”

A spokesman for the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) told the BBC that they were welcoming the delay since the legislation is not “particularly good” and there are better alternatives for dealing with piracy.

“There’s more than just the Digital Economy Act when it comes to tackling copyright infringement online,” he said.

“Ispa continues to believe that the most effective solution to the problem of users accessing unlawful content is for reform of the licensing framework so that legal content can be distributed online in a way that consumers are demanding.”

:view:Original Article: TorrentFreak

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