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Online Infringement of Copyright and the Digital Economy Act 2010

Online Infringement of Copyright and the Digital Economy Act 2010

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Published by Mauricio Moreno

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Published by: Mauricio Moreno on Jul 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Online Infringement ofCopyright and the Digital EconomyAct 2010
Draft Initial Obligations CodeConsultation
Publication date:28 May 2010Closing Date for Responses:30 July 2010
Online Infringement of Copyright and the Digital Economy Act 2010
Section 1
1Executive Summary
1.1 We are consulting on how Ofcom proposes to give effect to measures introduced inthe Digital Economy Act 2010 (“DEA”) aimed at reducing online copyrightinfringement. Specifically, we are seeking views on a code of practice called “theOnline Copyright Infringement Initial Obligations Code”.1.2 The DEA imposed new obligations on Internet Service providers (“ISPs”) to sendnotifications to their subscribers following receipt of reports of copyright infringementfrom Copyright Owners. ISPs must also record the number of reports made againsttheir subscribers and provide Copyright Owners on request with an anonymised listwhich enables the Copyright Owner to see which of the reports it has made arelinked to the same subscriber – also known as the ‘copyright infringement list’.1.3 The DEA gave Ofcom duties to draw up and enforce a code of practice (“the Code”).The DEA is very clear on how Ofcom should implement many elements of themeasures, but where there is discretion the interests of citizens and consumers arecentral to Ofcom’s approach. We propose a system of quality assurance reporting toensure that where allegations are made against subscribers they are based uponcredible evidence, gathered in a robust manner. We also propose that theindependent appeals body, which Ofcom is required to establish, should adoptspecific measures to protect subscribers during the hearing of appeals, including aright to anonymity.1.4 We set out a draft Code in this document which covers, in particular, the provisioningand handling of copyright infringement reports. We also propose which ISPs shouldinitially participate in the code, the process they should use to notify subscribersalleged to have infringed copyright and the threshold for including subscribers on acopyright infringers list.1.5 We set out a three-stage notification process for informing subscribers ofinfringements through notifications and propose that subscribers, following receipt ofa third notification, may be included in a copyright infringement list requested by aCopyright Owner, which has made at least one report against them. We proposethat such notifications should be accompanied with easy to understand informationon the nature of the allegations made against the subscriber and on what actions asubscriber can take, both to challenge the allegation and to protect their network frombeing hijacked for the purposes of infringement.1.6 As regards those ISPs to whom the Code should apply, the guidance fromGovernment on how we should implement the measures is very clear. The intent isthat small and medium sized ISPs should not initially fall within the scope of theCode. However, should evidence be presented that infringement was a significantissue on those ISPs then we will consider bringing them within the scope of theCode. Our proposal is that fixed ISPs with more than 400,000 subscribers shouldinitially be subject to the Code. We believe this approach to be appropriate because itfocuses the obligations on the major ISPs who provide internet access to more than96% of the UK market, it is consistent with the Government’s intentions and, basedon evidence received from copyright owners, the vast majority of allegedinfringement is amongst subscribers of those ISPs. Mobile operators are initiallyexcluded, due in part to current mobile technologies being less conducive than fixed

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