Piracy suspects to have to pay to appeal

Posted on July 7, 2012


People thought to be pirating online content will have to pay to appeal against the allegations, in plans revising the UK’s Digital Economy Act.

Suspects will also have just 20 days in which to appeal against the judgement.

The scheme is expected to begin in 2014, but has already angered many groups.

Leading the campaign to change the code is Consumer Focus. Its chief executive, Mike O’Conner, said:

“Copyright infringement is not to be condoned, but people who are innocent should not have to pay a fee to challenge accusations.”

The act in itself has largely been welcomed though, with SEOs, musicians, the film industry and other online content producers desperate to protect their property.

Speaking about act, Ed Vaizey, the Creative Industries Minister said:

“We must ensure our creative industries can protect their investment.”

The act will see users that are suspected of using illegally copied content being issued letters from their ISPs. Users must need to have been contacted on at least three separate occasions, with a month in between each correspondence.

Only those users having been contacted three or more times in any one year period can be pursued by the copyright owners.

This is only possible after a court order has been received too.

Ofcom has said that this last step will ensure focus is given to the most “persistent” cases.

Plans are already in place for the code to be amended and updated following a year of the letter scheme being in place. These includes forcing the ISPs to take more proactive action to prevent illegal content use.


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