A coalition of rights holders including the Premier League and trade bodies representing the music, film and TV industries is lining up to intervene against internet service providers in the judicial review of legislation to tackle illegal downloading.
The Premier League and eight other organisations, including the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), the Motion Picture Association and music industry body the BPI, have been given permission by the high court to defend the Digital Economy Act’s provisions for policing internet piracy.
These bodies, along with the trade unions Equity, Bectu and the Musicians’ Union, the British Video Association and the Film Distributors’ Association, will be able to make written and oral legal submissions and representations in court arguing that the DEA is critical to the future of the creative industries.
ISP’s BT (NYSE: BT) and TalkTalk were granted the right to a judicial review in November after arguing that the DEA could infringe internet users’ “basic rights and freedoms” and was given “insufficent scrutiny” in parliament.
“The act can help repair the damage that illegal downloading causes to the UK creative industry and reduce the threat to the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the creative companies supports,” said John McVay, chief executive of Pact. “The DEA is the result of many years of consultation and presents a reasonable and balanced solution.”
McVay described the legal challenge by BT and TalkTalk as a “misconceived case”. He said the group was particularly concerned with the notion that the DEA was “rushed through parliament” and would have a “disproportionate” impact on ISPs, business subscribers and consumers.
The group was given permission to intervene in the review through the consent of the government as well as BT and TalkTalk. The Open Rights Group, which believes the DEA is “badly flawed”, has also been given permission to intervene in the judicial review.
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.