Business News Digital Labels & Publishers Legal

PM maybe about to kick-start DEA three-strikes

By | Published on Monday 2 September 2013


David Cameron is expected to discuss finally getting round to implementing the three-strikes element of the 2010 Digital Economy Act at a breakfast meeting for music industry execs this week, according to the Sunday Times.

As much previously reported, the copyright section of the DEA, passed by parliament at the very end of the last Labour government, included the basics of a three-strikes, or graduated response, system for combating online piracy. Under the law, in theory internet service providers are obliged to send out warning letters to customers the music and movie industries reckon are accessing illegal sources of content.

However, the letter-sending is yet to occur amidst legal challenges by some key ISPs, and much debate over how the procedure should work and who should pay for it. It’s thought those net firms who object to the initiative are also now raising data-protection concerns about the database that would track repeat copyright infringers (especially those who switch ISPs and repeat offend).

Despite numerous delays on the three-strikes front – much to the annoyance of the music and movie industry bodies that championed the DEA in 2010 – it is thought that if Cameron puts the initiative high up on his personal agenda, the various bodies involved in three-strikes – including the government’s culture and business departments, and media regulator OfCom – could be persuaded to finally get going with the plan.

Though, as previously reported, there is the danger that the fight against piracy might get bundled with Cameron’s efforts to have content filtering turned on by default by net firms. Which would do little for the credibility of copyright enforcement.

The PM’s admirable ambition to protect young web-surfers from adult content through technological solutions has been widely dismissed by many in the tech industry as unachievable. And indeed when we tried out the Talk Talk auto-filters bigged up by Cameron we were suddenly unable to click on links in our own tweets, access our own Facebook profile, or login to a WordPress content management system.