Ofcom has free rein over file sharing

A UK digital media lawyer says regulator Ofcom is now clear to crack down on illegal file sharing, after a court decision in favor of the country’s Digital Economy Act.
 
The decision on Monday to block operators BT and TalkTalk appealing an earlier judgment on a bid to drop the file sharing element from the Act leaves the regulator clear to execute all measures within it, Harbottle & Lewis’ Tony Ballard states.
 
“[I]ts significance lies in Ofcom being able now to implement the procedure for discouraging peer-to-peer file sharing…without the cloud of uncertainty as to the validity of the Act hanging over it,” Ballard comments.
 
TalkTalk and BT launched their bid for an appeal hearing in May, after a previous High Court case failed to address all of their concerns over the Act, which they claim breaches European copyright laws.
 
The pair cited concerns over how the new Act will impact on five key EU directives, The Guardian reports, when they launched the legal action in July 2010.
 
Ofcom’s proposals for the Act included a requirement for ISPs to notify subscribers suspected of infringing copyright laws, however the High Court dropped an element that would have required service providers to foot the bill for any enforcement action.

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