Net firms have second go at overturning three-strikes

By | Published on Wednesday 1 June 2011

As you may have seen, BT and TalkTalk are having another stab at blocking the copyright provisions of the Digital Economy Act. Well, why not, sounds like fun.

As previously reported, the two internet service providers object to the still-in-development three-strikes system put in place by the DEA, which will force ISPs to send warning letters to suspected file-sharers and to ultimately instigate ‘technical measures’ against persistent online copyright infringers (well, those that can be detected) which might include bandwidth throttling or net suspension.

The net firms took the legislation to judicial review last year claiming it was in conflict with various bits of European law, and that parliament hadn’t given the proposed system enough scrutiny before passing the DEA because the then Labour government had to rush it all through before last year’s General Election.

But the judges who reviewed the legislation did not concur with that viewpoint, rejecting all of the ISPs’ arguments (except one on who should cover the costs of three-strikes) back in April. On Friday the net companies confirmed they were seeking leave to appeal that ruling, hoping for another opportunity to fight their corner. The appeals court is yet to respond to their application.

Although in theory OfCom and others have continued to work on developing the British three-strikes system while all this is going on, things are definitely behind schedule, and BT and TalkTalk’s legal tactics are surely one of the reasons for that. This latest action could delay things further.