ISPs launch legal challenge to Digital Economy Act

Two of the UK’s largest Internet service providers have called for a review of the Digital Economy Act, fearing that its anti-piracy measures might drive customers to smaller providers.

The act, passed into law shortly before May’s general election, calls on ISPs to disconnect customers that illegally share copyrighted media. At present, this only applies to providers with more than 40,000 customers.

"It means we could have huge swathes of customers moving to smaller ISPs to avoid detection,” Talk Talk director Andrew Heaney told the BBC. He said that the Digital Economy Act could contravene European privacy and telecommunications regulation.

That this is a significant concern for the companies reveals the extent of file sharing among Internet users.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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