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 For the UK to plough on with an outdated and discredited scheme regardless, is just farcical.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 @ 3:37am

    Doomed

    Good words indeed. It is also good to hear more from James Firth from Slightly Right of Centre when he is more knowledgeable about the Digital Economy Act than any other journalist that I have seen.

    There is no question now that the DEA in an official yet unspoken coma going nowhere quickly. They have already wasted around £5.8 million, many of the copyright side already saw it as the wrong answer early on, those that do want to use it insist on most of the scheme being funded by public tax funds, they stand to annoy hundreds of thousands of people, not to forget some innocent people being punished, Hadopi proves no economic gain where it could actually be harmful to media sales, the LSE report said the DEA offered 'the wrong balance', OFCOM prove that pirates spend more on media because they are more engaged, not to forget better educated with better paid jobs.

    So there is simply no good news here where the only answer now is to shut down and to repeal the DEA before more millions are wasted.

    I have always said the DEA was doomed where that is now without doubt.

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