Online Copyright Infringement

Our Actions, Outputs and Stakeholder Engagement...

In September 2009 the Panel published its response to the Digital Britain final report, which contained, among other things, the Government's proposals for tackling online copyright infringement. The Panel noted during its discussions about the Digital Britain Final report in 2009 that debates around online copyright infringement appeared to be dominated by the interests of copyright holders (rights holders) and internet service providers (ISPs).

In September 2009 the Panel also responded to the Government's consultation on legislation to tackle illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing. The response, among other things, emphasised the need for consumer bodies to be properly involved in the debate and set out some safeguards it believed should be built into any system designed to reduce online copyright infringement to protect consumers, in particular the fact that technical measures should not be imposed without a court decision.

In spring 2010, the Panel worked with Consumer Focus, Which?, Citizen's Advice and the Open Rights Group to develop a set of principles as a guide to protect the citizen interest when implementing legislative measures aimed at reducing online copyright infringement. These principles were intended to help Ofcom and other policymakers as they develop and implement the new framework for sections 3-16 of the Digital Economy Act 2010.  These principles were launched with joint branding in May 2010.

The Panel sent these principles to BIS to inform its consultation on funding and cost sharing for the new measures, highlighting its view that the cost of appeals should not fall on the consumer.

The Panel engaged regularly with Ofcom providing advise in relation to its implementation of the Governments plans to tackle illegal peer-to-peer file sharing. As part of this engagement the Panel responded to Ofcom's consultation on the draft initial code in July 2010. The consultation detailed the framework for Ofcom to use to apply measures to reduce online copyright infringement in accordance with the requirements of the Digital Economy Act, sections 3-16. The Panel has received regular updates from Ofcom on its progress in revising the code in the light of the responses to the consultation.

The Panel also advised ISPs on how to communicate with consumers who have been identified as alleged copyright infringers.

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