Ofcom presses on with Digital Economy Act crackdown on piracy

By Lee Kaelin on June 26, 2012, 10:30 AM

The British communications regulator, Ofcom, announced plans to press on with new measures under the Digital Economy Act today, warning broadband providers and their millions of customers it plans to crackdown on internet piracy as fast as possible following the government's successful recent High Court challenges by ISPs over the blocking of The Pirate Bay.

Whilst the new measures have been severely delayed since the Digital Economy Act's passing by the Parliament in 2010, the regulator said it would consult on the new proposals with a view to implementing them by as early as 2014. Before that can happen though, the European Commission will be required to review the Act later this year.

"These measures are designed to foster investment and innovation in the UK's creative industries, while ensuring internet users are treated fairly and given help to access lawful content," said Claudio Pollack, director of Ofcom's Consumer Group. "Ofcom will oversee a fair appeals process, and also ensure that rights holders' investigations under the code are rigorous and transparent."

The planned measures also outline proposals about how consumers downloading illegal content should be contacted. As part of major reforms, Ofcom wants to introduce a three-strike system. If an internet user receives more than three letters over a 12-month period, copyright holders can request further information about the account holder in question, then use it to take them to court.

Some additions to the Act are likely to be highly controversial though, especially provisions that will eventually require ISPs to punish persistent offenders by restricting their broadband speed, or even cutting off customers connections completely. Thankfully, this won't see the light of day until at least 12 months after it is enforced.

The appeals process is likely to receive a fair amount of criticism as well. Those sent letters will be given 20 days to appeal against the accusations at a cost of £20, to a panel appointed by Ofcom only using the grounds specified in the Digital Economy Act, which contains no general right to appeal after it was removed on government orders. 

"The appeals are a joke. The Government has decided that 'I didn't do it' is not a defence. Some people will almost certainly end up in court having done nothing wrong," Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group said in a statement.




User Comments: 8

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ikesmasher said:

well folks a uninfluenced internet was fun while it lasted.

its bound to happen soon or later

Tygerstrike said:

All those ppl who sat there and downloaded material that they KNEW was pirated. THANK YOU!!! You are the direct cause of this. Because of your greed and laziness we are going to see this type of controls sweep across every country in one form or another. Do you feel better about yourself? And im not really impressed by whatever justifications that will follow. First the UK then the US then everyone else. Thanks alot you lazy sacks of crap.....

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

I'm still waiting for someone to show me a few examples of a MAJOR Studios (music,software, movie, etc) that has been forced out of business SOLELY because of piracy. In fact, some of these businesses have been more profitable because of piracy.

Piracy is only an excuse. Greed and control is the cause of actions like this. Media corporations have lost control of their monopolies on the products they provide. Governments want to censor the internet because it is now easier to get information to the masses that may put them in a bad light. Look at the patterns. SOPA, ACTA, etc. all with language included to censor something or gather information.

Meh..oh well. Believe what you like. Really if you do not illegally download anything thing, you have nothing to worry about, right? I mean, everyone that has received a subpena suing them for copyright infringement has been the 100% guilty party... right?

ikesmasher said:

All those ppl who sat there and downloaded material that they KNEW was pirated. THANK YOU!!! You are the direct cause of this. Because of your greed and laziness we are going to see this type of controls sweep across every country in one form or another. Do you feel better about yourself? And im not really impressed by whatever justifications that will follow. First the UK then the US then everyone else. Thanks alot you lazy sacks of crap.....

dont whine about them. maybe if the cooporations didnt werent so flipping greedy, they would actually start charging reasonable prices for media, and they wouldnt care so much about the (then decreased) piracy.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

OK Music artist makes song, puts on CD, Sells in store makes money on CD.

Music artist puts song on digital media web site for sale, makes money buy user buying digital media thru secure purchase... Ok now.. hes making money..

Music Artist puts Music on Youtube, Big Mistake...

If the People want to make money selling there murchandise you think you would use a secure way of doing it.. Thats the correct way of doing it..

They are going about it all the wrong way..

The corporations and media companies are the greedy ones, who do not know how to sell products the correct way..

There is a right way and a wrong way, and they have been doing it the Wrong way for a very very long time...

Ya Think...

Shiney said:

All those ppl who sat there and downloaded material that they KNEW was pirated. THANK YOU!!! You are the direct cause of this. Because of your greed and laziness we are going to see this type of controls sweep across every country in one form or another. Do you feel better about yourself? And im not really impressed by whatever justifications that will follow. First the UK then the US then everyone else. Thanks alot you lazy sacks of crap.....

Why are you so annoyed?

Unless YOU download pirated software etc. How will it affect you?

Guest said:

All those ppl who sat there and downloaded material that they KNEW was pirated. THANK YOU!!! You are the direct cause of this. Because of your greed and laziness we are going to see this type of controls sweep across every country in one form or another. Do you feel better about yourself? And im not really impressed by whatever justifications that will follow. First the UK then the US then everyone else. Thanks alot you lazy sacks of crap.....

Yes that's it, blame the so called "pirates" instead of the corporations or the state...

None of this is about piracy, it's about maximising the profits of big corporations and turning every web user into a ******* brain dead consumer.

Guest said:

the brits if anyone I would have thought would have pushed for a 'internet magna carta" to protect there citizens from corporate and unchecked government control of the internet. what a let down.

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