Rights holders defend Digital Economy Act

A coalition of UK rights holders including the Premier League and trade bodies representing the music, film and TV are preparing to oppose ISPs in the judicial review of legislation to tackle illegal downloading.

The Premier League and eight other organisations, including the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), the Motion Picture Association and music industry body the BPI, have been given permission by the high court to defend the Digital Economy Act’s provisions for policing Internet piracy.

Along with unions Equity, Bectu and the Musicians’ Union, the British Video Association and the Film Distributors’ Association, they will make submissions in court arguing that the DEA is critical to the future of the creative industries.

ISP’s BT and TalkTalk were granted the right to a judicial review in November after arguing that the DEA could infringe internet users’ “basic rights and freedoms” and was given “insufficent scrutiny” in parliament.

John McVay, chief executive of Pact described the legal challenge by BT and TalkTalk as a “misconceived case”. The rights group was given permission to intervene in the review through the consent of the government as well as BT and TalkTalk. The Open Rights Group, which believes the DEA is “badly flawed”, has also been given permission to intervene in the judicial review.

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