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 For the UK to plough on with an outdated and discredited scheme regardless, is just farcical.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.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jun 2013 @ 2:49am

    In September 2010, I wrote to the minister responsible, Ed Vaizey and got a response, not written by him, which included

    "... whilst the specific figures may have been questioned there has not been a serious attempt from any side to deny that this widespread infringement is causing harm to the creative industries, which is why it should be tackled as quickly as possible"

    and also

    "Figures are not available for the losses from unlawful file-sharing in other content industries such as publishing as you rightly mentioned, business software or computer games, but it is clear that they are all suffering significant losses."

    Apparently if you discount all the people and studies that have pointed out the decided lack of harm to the creative industries from copyright infringement you end up with a situation where no 'side' has made a serious attempt to deny such. Maybe there had only been jocular attempts to do so.
    Also, lack of even estimates of loss, indicate significant losses.

    Of course back then they were careful to note that
    ".. the provisions of the Act are designed to build gathering of impartial evidence and real feedback on impact to all parties..."
    and that
    "This process will continue as Ofcom researches benchmark levels of copyright infringement and assesses the initial impact of the two initial obligations. These assessments from Ofcom will provide the sort of evidence that you want to see and that the Government agrees it would need to have before taking any steps that would impact on people’s ability to use their internet connections"

    Since then of course, Ofcom have submitted some findings
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121126/00590921141/dear-riaa-pirates-buy-more-full-sto p-deal-with-it.shtml

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130513/11270823061/once-again-top-downlo aders-are-top-spenders-according-to-uk-govt-study.shtml

    No rush to change the legislation though... strange that.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.