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battle commences over Digital Economy Act

3 February 2011

The Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Hunt announced that Ofcom will review the feasibility of the blocking powers created by the Digital Economy Act.

This perhaps shows that the Government has recognised that these powers, as currently envisaged, will be extremely difficult to implement and may do little to stem the tide of online copyright infringement.

The Digital Economy Act, and the anti-filesharing agenda of such creative arts trade associations as the BPI that lies behind it, have been on the ropes for some time. In November last year the High Court granted permission to BT and TalkTalk to judicially review the Act.

Meanwhile a pending decision of the European Court of Justice in Scarlet v Sabam could have a significant impact in the way the UK courts interpret the Act.

The fight is far from over yet but for the moment it seems that the filesharers are having the better of the early skirmishes in what will be a long and bloody battle!”

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