Digital Legal Top Stories

Net firms given chance to appeal judicial review of DEA

By | Published on Monday 10 October 2011

Digital Economy Act

BT and TalkTalk will, as it happens, be allowed to appeal in their failed legal challenge to the copyright section of the Digital Economy Act, a move that could further delay the start of the three-strikes system for combating online piracy in the UK.

As much previously reported, the two net firms want judges to send the DEA’s copyright provisions back to parliament for reconsideration based on claims that the three-strikes style system the Act introduces breaches various bits of European law. At the initial judicial review hearing back in April judges rejected most of BT and TalkTalk’s arguments, but the net firms appealed. Their first request for an appeal hearing was knocked back, however, back in June, but, nothing if not persistent, the two companies made a second application for an appeal hearing, and that was granted last week.

That means that BT and TalkTalk’s case will again be heard in court, this time by a panel of three judges, who will decide whether the original judicial review was right or wrong to dismiss the net firm’s concerns regarding three-strikes and European law. At least one of the judges this time will have experience ruling on European law matters, which The Guardian says has increased BT and TalkTalk’s confidence in their case.

Even if the two ISPs are not successful at appeal, it is likely to further delay the launch of three-strikes in the UK, which is currently set to begin – with the sending of warning letters to suspected file-sharers – in early 2012, almost a year behind the original schedule.

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