Warning Letters Under UK's Three Strikes Plan Unlikely To Be Sent Out Before 2016 -- If Ever

from the let-the-beast-die dept

Techdirt readers may recall that over three years ago, the UK's Digital Economy Act was passed in totally disgraceful circumstances. Since then, almost nothing has been heard about it, as British civil servants grapple with the fact that this poorly-drafted law is almost impossible to implement in any sensible way. If you were wondering what is going on behind the scenes, James Firth has put together a fascinating post piecing together the information that he was able to glean. The main point is that the UK's "three-strike" warning letters won't be going out for years:

Assuming a 2015 general election [in the UK], and factoring-in time to establish the necessary body or bodies to oversee the operation of the notification and appeals systems, it will be 2016 at the very earliest -- and possibly 2017 -- before the first warning letters go out.
In other words, it's likely to be six or seven years after the Digital Economy Act was passed that it starts to come into operation, if ever. What makes that particularly ridiculous, is that the pioneer of the three-strikes approach, France, is clearly backing away from it. For the UK to plough on with an outdated and discredited scheme regardless, is just farcical. But it gets worse:
Government advisers are aware that the creative industries are not currently on the point of extinction due to online copyright infringement, and are also aware of the concerns raised by ISPs and civil rights groups.
That is, the delay in implementing the law has meant that the claim that piracy would kill the UK copyright industries if left unchecked has been shown to be demonstrably false, removing what little justification there ever was for bringing in such disproportionate and vindictive legislation. Given that fact, and the evidence from France that three-strikes simply doesn't work, there is only one sensible option here: for the UK government to stop wasting the public's money and to repeal the entire misbegotten law immediately.

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Filed Under: copyright, digital economy act, three strikes, uk


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  1. icon
    Violated (profile), 19 Jun 2013 @ 4:40am

    Re: Had a think about it

    Things are a lot more complex than that.

    I have known people who just want maximum access to any and all media where they achieve this by pirating, hacking or buying what they can. They would want an all you can eat service at a fair price... but still want more.

    Others just like the convenience, speed and quality of file sharing where once downloaded this new media slots in to their own personal media on demand system.

    Then others prefer a try before they buy system. Their shelves of DVD, Blurays and CDs are already full with purchased media they rate as an AWESOME collection because they avoid crap media by sampling it first.

    There are other reasons such as never wanting to fund the MAFIAA due to all the social harm they cause but I can offer one rare insight into piracy. This is that people are not immoral and corrupt where they know rights from wrongs and where if you talk to them they can offer very understandable motives even if you may not agree with their view.

    At the end the day people's morals have been proved when pirates, with access to unlimited FREE media, are the BIGGEST SPENDERS on media.

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