Digital Economy Act

Three Strikes Struck Out - Time to Ditch Digital Economy Act

Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 - 11:00

The controversial French "Hadopi law", implemented in 2009 after intense lobbying from the entertainment industry has been dropped. The law aimed to disconnect those suspected of piracy from the internet after two written warnings.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

Rethink the Digital Economy Act

Monday, 16 July, 2012 - 15:00

Loz Kaye made the following comments after meeting with Ofcom to discuss the draft Initial Obligations Code for regulating the online copyright enforcement provisions of the Digital Economy Act:

"According to Ofcom the first letters accusing people of piracy will be going out in 2014. Looking at the details of the scheme, it is clear that it is not just objectionable, it is ridiculous. We will end up with a government mandated junk mail programme, one making accusations that cost £20 to appeal against."

No judicial review of the Digital Economy Act -- bad for the Internet, bad for UK culture

Tuesday, 6 March, 2012 - 11:45

No judicial review for Digital Economy Act

ISPs BT and TalkTalk initially requested a Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act in April 2011. The request was initially refused, and the ISPs appealed. Today the Appeals Court has handed down its judgement, saying that no judicial review will take place.

DEA's purported benefits entirely unproven

"This decision brings the draconian Digital Economy Act another step closer. The coalition government must be clear now once and for all on whether it supports this anti-Internet piece of legislation.

Loz Kaye : Three Strikes Struck Out - Lessons for Digital Europe

The French government has just dealt a serious blow to the big entertainment lobby's assault on the Internet. The Hadopi "three strikes" law has been, well, struck out. The Hadopi measures were introduced in 2009 by President Sarkozy, and threatened to disconnect from the Internet those suspected of online copyright infringement after three written warnings. This flagship "anti-piracy" measure has now run aground.

The new French culture minister said "Hadopi has not fulfilled its mission of developing legal content offerings...In financial terms, [spending] 12 million Euros and 60 agents—that’s expensive to send a million e-mails... the suspension of Internet access seems to be a disproportionate penalty given the intended goal."

All of us in the digital rights movement had pointed out years ago that this was a disproportionate tool, not least because it could lead to collective punishment of entire households. Equally, we warned that it would be an administrative nightmare, a waste of money with no positive aims. 

The French retreat from the three strikes approach has lessons for policy making across Europe. In the UK the 2010 Digital Economy Act contained so-called graduated response legislation. It has not come in to force yet and remains firmly in the long grass. We must surely ditch the Digital Economy Act now, and EU governments should reject the hounding of individuals and Internet cut offs. There has been a long and tedious discussion about the merits of graduated response legislation. We now know it is simply not tenable.

This is a good moment to take a step back in what has been a fraught debate. Let's stop digital policy being hijacked by narrow interest groups claiming to speak for the creative sector. 

Digital Economy Act 'Unworkable'

Wednesday, 3 August, 2011 - 10:30

Today the Pirate Party UK would like to welcome Business Secretary Vince Cable's increased opposition to the web blocking measures (as proposed in the Digital Economy Act) and his positive stance toward reforming the law regarding private copying and exceptions for parody.

The legalisation of "format shifting" is an overdue common sense update to the law.

Axe the Act

Loz Kaye's picture

The Pirate Party is constantly working hard to protect the rights of citizens across the country. From the outset we have been vocal critics of the Digital Economy Act. The Act was forced through in the dying days of a discredited parliament and survived a judicial review. It has seen popular opposition and objection from business, it has been rejected by those who it will have an impact on as well as those who must enforce it.

The Law now is still as bad as now as when it was first proposed.

Judgment in the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review

Will Tovey's picture

After only three weeks, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker has handed down his judgment in the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. In summarising thousands of pages of evidence and submissions and the four-day hearing, the judge rejected nearly all of the grounds for the review, only allowing the challenge to part of the allocation of costs. The full text of the judgment can be found here and summaries of the hearings here.

The first point to note is the number of parties. While the case was between BT, TalkTalk and the government, there were thirteen interested parties involved, including six notorious pro-copyright lobby groups and four unions. This gives an indication of the intense lobbying pressure behind the Digital Economy Act, and why the previous government felt compelled to act the way they did.

Statement on Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act

Monday, 28 March, 2011 - 17:30

"The Judicial Review leaves the Digital Economy Act as a lame duck piece of legislation. At the time, Pirate Party UK pointed out that rushing the bill through without proper democratic oversight would result in shoddy lawgiving. We have been proved right.

"While the arguments about proportionality may have been technical, some of our worst fears that the act will result in an unacceptable mass surveillance of millions are being born out. This outrageous attack on civil liberties is based on a flawed assumption that hunting down music fans will result in increased revenue.

The Future of the Digital Economy Act

Will Tovey's picture

This is one of a set of posts detailing the main arguments made in Court during the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act - R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. This post covers the fourth day. A summary of day one can be found here, and day three here.

The final hearing of the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review took place this morning, with the absence of the government's lead barrister. However, the defence was continued by the barrister representing the copyright industry (both copyright owners and other parties).

Defending the Digital Economy Act

Will Tovey's picture

This is one of a set of posts detailing the main arguments made in Court during the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act - R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. This post covers the third day. A summary of day one can be found here, and day four here.

This morning the judicial review of the Digital Economy Act resumed with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills defending the Digital Economy Act. Before the arguments got underway, it was agreed that the hearing would spill over to Monday, with the final matters being dealt with then.