BT and TalkTalk lose Digital Economy Act appeal

BT and TalkTalk have lost their appeal over the Digital Economy Act, the legislation that would oblige them to tackle illegal file sharing by their customers.

The Digital Economy Act, which was passed amid controversy last year, obliges Internet service providers to send warning letters to customers that download illegally, plus unspecified ‘technical measures’ against online piracy.

An original appeal, on the grounds of cost, was rejected in the High Court last year. At the time, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker ruled that the cost would be proportional to the damage caused be illegal file sharing.

The two Internet service providers later won the right to appeal that ruling, on the grounds that the DEA does not comply with European regulations including the eCommerce Directive, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive and the Data Protection Directive.

That argument was rejected this morning in the Court of Appeal. Judges ruled that an Justice Parker’s ruling had been "soundly based".

Yesterday, a report by ThisIsMoney alleged that BT and TalkTalk customer service representatives had offered mystery shoppers advice on good deals for illegal file sharers.

BT and TalkTalk both said that they do not condone illegal file-sharing, and BT asked for more information to investigate the claims.

Avatar photo

Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

Related Topics