Anti-Piracy Law Delayed In The UK

The provisions of UK’s anti-piracy law (under the island’s Digital Economy Act) have been postponed again until 2014. The “three strike” graduate response system was designed to cut off repeat copyright infringers and file-sharers.

The three-strikes system consists in the involvement of ISPs, in the sense that they are to send warning letters to alleged pirates (when caught) in order to control the overflow of illegal file-sharing. Unfortunately for the entertainment business, these plans have been put to a hold until 2014, UK’s government department responsible with the law confirmed.

Among the measures included within the three-strikes system, we find broadband limitations, but it is only applied as a final solution for extreme offenders. Ofcom, the Kingdom’s communication regulator, had said in a previous statement that it would start sending out notification letters to file-sharers starting with the middle of 2013.

However, due to legal challenges and bids raised (in order to clarify the law) by broadband providers, the anti-piracy act has been delayed. The act was passed at the end of last’s year Labour government. Due to the bill’s controversy, most members of the Parliament withdrew their support, and by the end of it less than 10% of all UK’s representatives voted the bill.

In the meantime, UK’s most prestigious broadband providers TalkTalk and BT intervened, arguing that the law was breaching European laws unsuccessfully. Furthermore, the UK government had faced criticism after questions were raised in a Parliamentary committee pertaining to the evidence for the bill.

2015 marks the election year, and the law will likely be at the center of heated debates. With the Labour government drafting and implementing the law, and the Conservative-led coalition government pushing through its measures, it will be a hot topic for the politicians on the soapboxes.

We’ll get back on the subject as soon as new developments arise.