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We’re Not Paying!

Posted by Boghound on March 7, 2013


UK’s Copyright Law to Be Postponed Due to Costs Concerns

he Digital Economy Act is the result of the British government’s attempt to fight Internet piracy, which includes sending notifications to people suspected of copyright violation amongst its provisions. However, the vital document specifying who’s to pay for all the troubles has been pulled out, which might lead to a delay of the law.

The paper in question is “Sharing of Costs Order” and it has been for some reason pulled out from the bill. The plan was to kick-start the anti-piracy measures in March 2014 which include sending notifications and even account blocking. Nevertheless, that last bid may not even be discussed; not only connections being terminated had been harshly criticized, but copyrights owners, to the surprise of some, offered a counterproposal – to change this measure for a fine.

According to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, technical changes are needed to the cost-sharing statutory instrument, which won’t have impact on the overall effect of the bill. It is going to re-introduce the statutory instrument as soon as possible.

The reason is explained by digital rights campaigners – the document in question was pulled out because of the concerns expressed by the country’s Treasury. The matter is that the costs for managing and applying the anti-piracy measures mentioned in the bill aren’t consistent with its “Managing Public Money” guidelines.

As such, the document that was initially created by the DMCS and Ofcom will be revised. After that, the Parliament will decide how to vote on it. Actually, it makes it look like sending out notifications in 2014 may appear no longer realistic.

In the meanwhile, the industry experts believe that Ofcom is spending lots of public money, which ultimately would be paid back by rights holders taking part in the scheme. Although the authorities claim that the current problem is technical compliance with the guidelines, the exact reasons are still unclear. But the fact that Ofcom is going to spend millions without clear commitment from rights holders about who will pay it back is obviously part of the problem.

At the moment, it is unclear how long it will take for the legislation to kick in, but the experts expect some drastic changes.

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