All those angry digital liberties campaigners? They shouldn’t get their hopes up too much about the Digital Economy Act under a new government…
“We’re not going to repeal it,” the new UK government’s Conservative culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told paidContent:UK.
Instead, the administration will wait to see how the act’s measures perform and, if alterations or something more is needed, take action later, Hunt said.
That means the graduated-response anti-piracy action – which would level education or warning letters against freeloading ISP customers, leading to possible account suspension – will remain in place, along with all the bill’s other measures (see our recent quick-hit guide).
But the proposal for blocking sites containing infringing material was never part of the act, it was part of a separate parliamentary process instituted by Labour in the previous government’s dying days; so it is unlikely to see light of day.
The section of the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government’s detailed joint plans about media contains no reference to the Digital Economy Act.
Opposition to the act during its bill stage was vociferous from some online quarters, and the campaign is still going even though the act is law. Some party members of the coalition Liberal Democrats appear to still favour repeal.
But many sections of the media and cultural creation industry will welcome the retention of measures that seek to protect their intellectual property.