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DEA three strike letters won’t start until 2013

By | Published on Monday 24 October 2011


Warning letters under the three-strikes style anti-piracy system put in place by the Digital Economy Act are now not likely to go out until 2013, the Director Of Internet Policy at media regulator OfCom admitted last week. Campbell Cowie was speaking at the Westminster eForum in London, and he told delegates that drafting the code that will set out how the so called graduated response system for tackling illegal file-sharing will work has proved very difficult indeed.

Although moves by BT and TalkTalk to block the copyright section of the DEA by judicial review – which initially failed, but the ISPs have been given the OK to have a second stab – are a hindrance, Cowie indicated that other matters have caused delays in launching three-strikes, in particular gaining confidence in the technology used to identify individual web users suspected of file-sharing, and working out exactly how the appeals process will work. The music industry originally hoped strike one – the sending out of warning letters to suspected file-sharers – would have begun earlier this year, but it now looks likely it won’t happen until 2013.

At the same event, TalkTalk’s Andrew Heaney once again set out why his company thinks the anti-piracy system in the DEA is disproportionate, overly expensive and, in his words, “rotten to the core”, adding that his company will continue to fight the introduction of anti-file-sharing measures. But Richard Mollet, now CEO of the Publisher’s Association, but formerly the lobbyist at record label trade body BPI who lobbied for the DEA’s copyright section, defended the graduated response system

According to ZDNet, he told the event: “We need constructive engagement from all quarters and yet again this morning it’s really noticeable that the two ISPs that haven’t been up on the panel today, Sky and Virgin Media… are working very constructively with rights holders, looking at ways in which we can develop voluntary solutions on things like site blocking and haven’t been standing every step of the way in front of the DEA. Surely that must be the way ahead for us all in the wider creative economy?”