Government delays file-sharing code
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 28 Mar 2011 at 17:12
The Government is set to delay an anti-file-sharing code, as a judicial review comes to a close.
The Government is battling to sort out the details of its controversial Digital Economy Act, which includes measures to identify persistent illegal file-sharers and send notification letters to offenders.
BT and TalkTalk won a judicial review of that aspect of the Act, which wrapped up earlier today. The High Court judge is expected to rule on the case in the next six weeks, but attendees told PC Pro no deadline has been set and a ruling may take months.
We have to write to Ofcom to extend the deadline and that hasn't been done yet
Despite the judicial review, the Government had continued work on an "initial obligations code," which would lay out the finer details of how the mass notification system would work - despite such details being under debate in the High Court.
Ofcom had been set a deadline of 31 March to write the code and for it to be passed by Parliament, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is now set to tell the watchdog to extend the deadline.
"There was a deadline for it to be brought into effect of 31 March," a spokesperson told PC Pro. "Now obviously that deadline isn't going to be met, so we will have to extend that deadline."
The spokesperson couldn't say when the code's deadline would be moved to, or if it would fall after the results of the judicial review. "It hasn't been pushed back yet," he said. "We have to write to Ofcom to extend the deadline and that hasn't been done yet."
Asked why the Government and Ofcom had persisted with the code despite the legal challenge, the spokesman noted that the work had begun well before the judicial review was announced.
"A lot of work had already been done by the time the judicial review had come about," the spokesperson said. "The Government decided to continue with that work on the code and implementing that aspect while the judicial review was ongoing and we were waiting for the judicial review to come along."
The letter writing system is still expected to start in the first half of next year, while so-called "technical measures", such as throttling or suspending broadband connections, could start a year later.
The results of the judicial review aren't expected for weeks, but attendees said they were pleased the judge was carefully considering the case.
What is it with these clueless lawmakers?
File sharing is not illegal. In fact bittorrent file distribution is an essential distribution method.
Downloading copyrighted material is a totally different subject and should be differentiated, in plain English, since the numpties who passed the Digital Economy Bill clearly need flash-cards and words of one syllable.
The media doesn't help much either.
By cheysuli on 29 Mar 2011
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