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ConDems Won’t Repeal UK’s Digital Economy Act

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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.

7 Responses to “ConDems Won’t Repeal UK’s Digital Economy Act”

  1. Katie Maria1

    what ever they do they will not stop it fact is the music industry should explain why they have made more cash then ever year after year not once have they lost cash

    also this will just have everyone on vpns or the fact that isps with only 400 000 people on are not covered lots of pirate isp will pop up like the pirate party have done in sweden

  2. Vegapunk

    There will be a way round it found probably within a couple of weeks and given the popularity of downloading via these clients (both legally and illegally) it will probably spread as general knowledge, at least amongst the technically capable.

    Sensoring/Monitoring the internet is a pretty tall order it wasnt made with those ideals in hand

    Personally I have no sympathy for the companies claiming to lose so much money. At the end of the day they are still filthy rich with or without the piracy that exists, no one needs the kind of money they control and to claim they are in an unfair position is ludicrous.

  3. Azrael

    All the more reason to switch to an ISP that let’s you designate yourself as a ‘communications provider’ and be exempt from the law, and/or runs multiple service providers and lets you freely switch between them to bypass the law.

    Better off repealing the clauses that anyone and their gran could drive a truck through.

  4. Don’t forget that switching ISP can sometimes be a costly move, especially if you’re trying to change from a fully unbundled provider, so it’s not quite as simple to move around as it was when BT was the only game in town.

  5. md1500

    I understand that this law will only apply to ISPs with a minimum of 400,000 users and mobile broadband is exempt. See the problem?

    That’s right. A hardcore filesharer now has even less reason to stop. When they receive their first letter, instead of thinking “Well, I’d better not do that again”, they’ll just think “Better move to a smaller ISP or download my next file using 3G via my Android phone’s BitTorrent client.”

    Also, if the Government has no plans to implement the Web-blocking parts of the law then why are they still there? Seems fishy to me. Surely it would be better to throw those unwanted parts of the law out? After all, even if the current Government has no plans for Web-blocking, our next Government may and this part of the law is wide-open for abuse.