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 For the UK to plough on with an outdated and discredited scheme regardless, is just farcical.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