Communications minister Ed Vaizey has introduced secondary legislation aimed at enforce anti-piracy plans in the Digital Economy Act, passed shortly before the May General Election.
The ‘Sharing of Costs Order’ covers the cost of letters sent to those suspected of piracy, as well as prosecution and appeal costs. These will be split between media rights holders and Internet Service Providers at 75/25 per cent respectively.
“The Digital Economy Act sets out to protect our creative economy from online copyright infringement, which the industry estimates costs £400 million (€468m) a year,” said Vaizey, who added that a system of mass notification would warn people about the unlawfulness of copyright infringement, explain the harm it does and point them toward legitimate content.
He said the measures were expected to benefit the industry by around £200m a year and, as rights holders would be the main beneficiaries, he believed the government’s decision on costs was fair to everyone.
One provision relates to the cost of appeals against allegations of piracy. The government indicated that all appeals must be free to end users, but that it reserved the right to impose a small charge if numbers got out of hand.