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BT and Talktalk lose DEA judicial review

Big Media sneers
Wed Apr 20 2011, 12:23

A BODY REPRESENTING media conglomerates has stuck the boot into British Telecom (BT) and Talktalk after the Internet service providers (ISPs) lost a high court judicial review of the Digital Economy Act (DEA).

BT and Talktalk failed in their high court challenge to stop the UK Government's plan to harass alleged filesharers with mass notification warning letters. The companies don't want to act as Internet cops at the behest of pressure from big media players and protested the ill-conceived DEA that the previous Government hurriedly pushed through Parliament.

The Creative Industries Intervening Group (CIIG) wasted no time in issuing a statement saying that the judicial review was unnecessary. The CIIG also said the high court ruling proved that the DEA is legal and a proportionate way to take down filesharers.

"Rather than needlessly spending more time and money on further legal challenges, BT and TalkTalk now need to focus on working with rightsholders and the Government in implementing the DEA with immediate effect," said a spokesperson for CIIG, John McVay.

The ISPs lost 93 per cent of their case as the judge dismissed everything except for a draft Costs Order, which re-slices the way the companies will have to pay for copyright enforcement. The Open Rights Group said this could create a legislative nightmare because third parties would be responsible for enforcing copyrights and not private owners.

We contacted Talktalk for a response and the ISP said it was disappointed that the judge said he could not uphold its claim because the harm caused by the DEA couldn't be quantified yet.

"We are reviewing this long and complex judgment and considering our options, which may include an appeal to the Court of Appeal, or a request that the Court of Appeal make a reference to European Court of Justice.

"Though we may have lost this particular battle, we will continue fighting to defend our customers' rights against this ill-judged legislation," added the Talktalk spokesperson. µ

 

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