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Monday, June 22, 2009

Consultation On Legislation To Address Illicit Peer-To-Peer (P2P) File-Sharing, 16 June

Paragraph 4.39 sets out an indicative timeline, with government response by 15 December 2009, and no technical measures taken against subscribers until ‘Zero+28 months’, zero being date of Royal Assent to any Order instructing Ofcom to set up the mechanism. That suggests at earliest May 2012, and given the General Election due by May 2010, may indicate late 2012 as the more likely date for implementation. This is likely to be a highly controversial three years , and whether Ofcom will actually reach the ‘throttling point’ under the next government must be open to severe doubt.

Para 1.3 “This takes forward Recommendation 39 of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, the recent BIS consultation on possible regulatory options and Action 13 of the Digital Britain Interim Report…ISPs will be required to send notifications to subscribers who have been identified in relation to alleged infringements of copyright. The second obligation is for ISPs to maintain (anonymised) records of the number of times an individual subscriber has been so identified and to maintain lists of those most frequently identified. Both obligations would be underpinned by a code drawn up by industry and approved (or imposed in the absence of agreement) by Ofcom. Following further consideration we are now proposing a change to the way in which we construct these obligations. This document sets out an approach whereby a duty will be placed on Ofcom to take steps aimed at reducing online copyright infringement. Specifically they will be required to impose the two obligations on ISPs set out in the Digital Britain Interim Report. Ofcom will also have the power to impose by Statutory Instrument the additional obligations listed in the legislation if they think it necessary. In addition they will be required to put in place a code to support any obligations that are in place.”

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