Parliament to debate cost-sharing element of Digital Economy Act


Parliament to debate cost-sharing element of Digital Economy Act

Warwick Ashford

Secondary legislation on sharing the costs of the Digital Economy Act's measures to tackle online copyright infringement has been laid in Parliament.

The Statutory Instrument implementing the shared costs will be debated in both houses.

In September last year, the government decided that the cost for implementing the initial obligations to send notifications to infringers of online copyright would be split between rights holders and internet service providers (ISPs) at a ratio of 75:25.

The government also announced no fee would be charged to consumers who want to appeal a notification.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey (pictured) said the Digital Economy Act sets out to protect the creative economy from online copyright infringement, which the industry estimates costs £400m a year.

"We are introducing a system of mass notification to warn people about the unlawfulness of copyright infringement, explain the harm it does and point them toward legitimate content," he said.

According to Vaizey, the measures are expected to benefit industry by around £200m a year.

"As rights holders will be the main beneficiaries, we believe our decision on costs is fair to everyone," he said.

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