Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Digital Economy Act - draft costs sharing order

The UK Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) have published the draft text of The Online Infringement of Copyright (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order 2011.

That's a "Draft order which specifies provisions that must be included in the initial obligations code about payment by copyright owners and internet service providers of contributions towards costs incurred under the copyright infringement provisions in the Communications Act 2003, inserted by the Digital Economy Act 2010."

According to the BIS What's New page the draft Order was published on Monday, 11 October 2010. But the date in the title (2011) gives a hint as to when they expect to issue the order officially. (Small conflict in the titles between reg 1 and the title itself.)

I've not looked at it properly yet - though I did do a quick rough blackline showing changes from the March 2010 draft Online Infringement of Copyright (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order.

But it no doubt reflects the government's September 2010 response (Online Infringement Of Copyright (Initial Obligations) Cost Sharing - HM Government Response) following their March 2010 consultation on their proposals with draft statutory instrument.

A big issue being, who pays how much for making ISPs act as copyright owners' police officers and "enforcers" against music or movie etc file sharers.

As many will know, ISPs will have to fork out for 25% of the costs, which probably means they'll pass that on to their customers, that's us mere internet users, thus possibly reducing the numbers of people in the UK who will be able to afford internet access. Which, given that a lot of people now believe that internet access should be a fundamental human right, is an issue.

There's also who bears ISPs' upfront capital expenses of investing in systems to enable them to do all this… (see the Society for Computer and Law's response - and full PDF response).

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