back to article High Court to probe Digital Economy Act

Senior judges are to review the Digital Economy Act following a complaint from BT and TalkTalk that it was rushed through Parliament before the election. The pair's application for a judicial review, filed at the High Court in July, was granted today. The review is likely to at least delay the Act's anti-unlawful filesharing …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    at last...

    some common sense from BT.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      the only reason they care is cos it will cost them money to implement.

    2. JasonW

      Not really...

      More likely they see it as a potential cost later and asking for a judicial review now could save them a big bundle.

      Or more cynically, they're waiting for to be twanked in the Eurocourts and then subsequent fallout on BT for the Phorm debacle when the remembers that it has a duty to uphold the law of the land and prosecutes.

  2. Jim Wormold


    ... that the only voice that is paid attention to is big industry. It's either the music industry or the ISPs who are being listened to.

    1. copsewood
      Big Brother

      nobody gets elected by arguing with the man who buys ink by the barrel

      Politicians are still keen to pander to the vested media interests which like copyright to be the way it was. So when old media told our representatives what to do about new media, politicians did what they were told.

    2. Jimmy Floyd

      Nothing to stop you...

      ...forming a pressure group. How about File-sharers for Fair Sharing (FFS)?

  3. Barbara Moore

    Is it odd ...

    ... that the 2 ISPs who have considered it perfectly OK to scrape copyrighted content so that they can make money out of tracking their customers and serving targeted ads are the ones to worry about their part in dishing out penalties to those caught infringing copyright?

    Maybe they really do believe that if it is on the internet then it is copyright free - and if you don't like that then don't make anything in a digital format.

  4. John Miles 1

    What responsibility for carriage of illegal material

    Surely the situation for an ISP is rather like an operator of a 'toll road' e.g. Dartford Crossing, or M6 Birmingham relief road.

    If on occasions someone pays the toll and then drives a truck with stolen goods along the road, is the road operator supposed to check contents of every truck, the identity of the driver and bear responsibility for the contents ?

    Of course not, so why are ISPs supposed to put in costly infrastructure to do just that for a small percentage of the material they might carry


    Lets get this straight...

    The UK's biggest commercial copyright thieves, Ian 'Phorm' Livingston and Charles 'StalkStalk' Dunston, are concerned that DEB might "violate European rules including those on privacy and an ISP's role as 'mere conduit' ".

    Pot you're black. Black pot! Black! Black! Black! You lock me in the cellar and feed me pins!

    Sod off Ian/Charles. You thieving crooks didn't give a stuff about handing over the details of your subscribers wholesale to ACS:Law when you got paid for it.

    Now you're worried about your role as 'mere conduit'? Please, spare me your sobbing.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    The real question is...

    Why don't they question as to how Mandelson brought this act into parliament? He had some expenses paid for holiday with the people involved in the music industry and they told him what they want. Since they gave him a luxury holiday, he had to say yes. The same way Cameron is enjoying his time at being PM due to Murdoch helping him for the favours Cameron will do for Murdoch.

  7. gypsy roadhog

    Standing on the shoulders of giants

    Clearly BT and Talk Talk have their own reasons for launching this action. However, I welcome a review as the law may well affect people who are completely innocent.

    I agree that artists are entitled to be paid for their work and I pay for my own MP3 downloads. However, I do find the BPI's position just a little bit rich. For example we all have favorite artists and I guarantee you that they all, more or less consciously, draw upon the creativity of artists who went before. It's not black and white.

    We need a way to reward creative artists which also allows their customers reasonable enjoyment of the music that they have bought.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The whole model is broken.

      And it was broken long before the Internet.

      What we actually need is a way to reward creative artists while sending the grubby middlemen into the gutter to starve.

  8. Tommy Pock

    The BPI said

    "It 's

    disappointing that a couple of ISPs are

    trying to comply with European law."

    There you go, fixed that for you.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Speaking of the dark lord Mandelson

    Speaking of the dear Lord "Two Resignations" Mandelson of Ill Repute, what's the relationship between his involvement with the DEA and his involvement with the ACTA anti-counterfeiting thingummy, as reported from time to time in these parts? Indeed, what is the current state of play with the ACTA?

  10. alex dekker 1


    Surely if 6% of MPs is considered to be 'Parliament', then the BPIs members would have no problem with me paying them 6% of the price of one of their CDs?

  11. Jim Black 1
    Thumb Down

    Human Rights?

    As I read the article, if the copyright holder accuses someone of illegally downloading copyrighted material, then the defendant is automatically guilty and the government will go after them. Is that right?

    Radical concept: Innocent until proven guilty. Why not have the accuser investigate and provide the information needed to present to the prosecutor? And set up rules of procedure that require proof of the accusation, not just allegation. And what about preventing trial by media? An accusation does not a guilty person make.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Good outcomes for bad reasons.

    True BT (Phorm AKA Webwise) and Stalk Stalk) (V. dubious Chinese sourced hardware sending the information where exactly?) are not exactly the champions of privacy you'd want

    But they do have lots of cash and if this review *can* open up this law that's a *good* thing.

    BTW the point about ISP's being *carriers* in EU is at least one reason why they should also tell the data fetishists of the Home Office to FO. It is *not* their business to open every packet and check that no one is sending threatening emails, state secrets or p()rn of *any* variety.

    They are doing it for selfish commercial reasons but sorry, that's pretty much why *all* companies in business to make a profit do things.

    Like them. No. Trust them. Hardly. Might it get a good result that *might* benefit actual people. Possibly.

    On balance thumbs up.


  13. Anonymous Coward

    we all agree then, Stop Stealing OUR personal IP data streams for Your Commercial Profit


    The BPI sent this reaction: "Rights holders, ISPs and government all agree that urgent action is needed to tackle online copyright infringement."

    Good For Once we all agree then, all commercial Entities Stop Stealing OUR personal IP data streams for Your Commercial Profit without paying the going commercial rates per transaction for use of OUR data.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    "mere conduit" and BT/talk talk

    "BT and TalkTalk that it was rushed through Parliament before the election.

    The pair's application for a judicial review, filed at the High Court in July, was granted today. The review is likely to at least delay the Act's anti-unlawful filesharing regime, which is due to come into force in January.

    In particular, they claim measures in the new legislation designed to reduce copyright infringement via filesharing networks violate European rules including those on privacy and an ISP's role as "mere conduit".

    "We are very pleased that the Court has recognised that our concerns about the copyright infringement provisions in the Digital Economy Act should be considered in a full hearing," TalkTalk regulation chief Andrew Heaney said in a statement.

    "The Act was rushed through Parliament in the 'wash-up' with only 6 per cent of MPs attending the brief debate and has very serious flaws."

    "The provisions to try to reduce illegal filesharing are unfair, won’t work and will potentially result in millions of innocent customers who have broken no law suffering and having their privacy invaded.""

    LOL AT BT and talk talk of all the ISP's bringing this , you have to wonder why and where its going to cost they money , and i Just Knew that "mere conduit" would show up again.

    in case its not clear "mere conduit" defence relates to and only too ISP's core business of actual pushing the customers personal data streams through their network to the end recipient , not for any Deep Packet Interception for (3rd party) profit as these two ISP's have clearly done in the past and want to do again.

    on the face of it, bringing this HIGH COURT review they instigated seems very schizophrenic on their part, care to speculate where this might have/will cost them real money if they didn't bring it Chris/anyone ?

    i find it hard to put this down to simple PR to obfuscate their real liking for DPI for profit at this time, as TT are not up on interception for profit charges at the moment are they ? and BT seem to be well covered by their friends in High places to worry about that!

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