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By: MarkJ - 24 January, 2011 (10:43 AM)
UK DCMS internet copyrightpirate flagThe UK governments Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (DCMS) has set out its secondary legislation on sharing the costs of the controversial Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA) and its measures to tackle "illegal" (unlawful) internet copyright infringement by customers of broadband ISPs.

The move follows on from the government's original announcement in September 2010 (here), which revealed that Rights Holders would be forced to pay 75% of the costs for tackling online piracy while broadband ISPs will bear the remaining 25%. At the time ISPs were less than pleased with the move, which hasn't changed, and many called for Rights Holders to pay the full costs (here).

The UK Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

"The Digital Economy Act sets out to protect our creative economy from online copyright infringement, which industry estimates costs them £400m a year.

We are introducing a system of mass notification to warn people about the unlawfulness of copyright infringement, explain the harm it does and point them toward legitimate content.

These measures are expected to benefit industry by around £200m a year and as rights holders will be the main beneficiaries, we believe our decision on costs is fair to everyone."

The formal secondary legislation has now been laid in parliament and will be debated in both houses. Ofcom will not be able to finalise its Draft Online Copyright Infringement Initial Obligations Code until after the secondary legislation has been debated.

Ofcom is also working on phase 3 of its consultation, which has yet to be presented, to tackle "Enforcement of the code and the handling of industry disputes" (i.e. the appeals process). This was originally supposed to be presented in July 2010 but has suffered a multitude of delays, not least from the recently granted Judicial Review by TalkTalk and BT (here).
The 2010 Digital Economy Act (DEA) Text
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/24/contents

The Online Infringement of Copyright (Sharing of Costs) Order 2011
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2011/9780111505779/contents

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