by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jun 20th 2011 8:22am
With the recent UN report condemning three strikes laws that kick people off the internet based on accusations (not convictions) of copyright infringement as a civil rights violation, there's been a lot more attention paid to the reasonableness of such laws. Of course, there are other factors to take into account as well, including the general cost to the taxpayer. Over in the UK, James Firth filed some Freedom of Information requests with the UK government to try to understand how much such things are really costing. He got an answer from Ofcom, the telecom/ISP regulator, who noted that it's expected to have spent about £5.9 million (or just under $10 million) by the end of this year on implementing the digital copyright enforcement measures in the Digital Economy Act (which are mostly about a three strikes plan). Firth notes that this is just one part of the government's costs, and he has other FOI requests out for other parts. He also notes, per Ofcom, that the agency hopes to get this money back from fees from copyright holders making use of the process, but that's not guaranteed. Definitely an interesting bit of information to explore, which usually gets ignored in these discussions.
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