Decks cleared for controversial Digital Economy Act
by Naman Ramachandran
06/03/2012 - Internet piracy in the UK suffered a body blow with leading telecom providers British Telecom (BT) and TalkTalk failing to overturn a High Court ruling favouring punitive measures against internet file-sharers. The outgoing Labour government had passed a bill in 2010 where repeat internet piracy offenders would lose access to the web altogether after a warning process. A High Court ruling had backed the bill and BT and TalkTalk took the case to a Court of Appeal, saying that the measures went against the grain of EU law. The Court today dismissed the telecom giants’ appeal, saying that the original decision was correct and will stand.
It is estimated that the British entertainment industry loses £400 million a year to internet piracy. Welcoming the ruling John McVay, chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television said, “Rather than needlessly spending more time and money on further legal challenges, BT and TalkTalk now need to focus on working with copyright rights holders and the Government in implementing the Digital Economy Act with immediate effect.”
Film Distributors' Association President Lord David Puttnam (pictured) said, “Hopefully this brings to an end a long chapter of uncertainty, and the DEA can now help in implementing a mass consumer education programme so that people, especially young people, can come to appreciate the damage piracy inflicts on the whole of the creative community.”