Ofcom to draft file-sharing appeals process by next month

Ofcom has announced plans to create a draft of the appeals process for copyright infringement notifications by next month.

Ofcom to draft file-sharing appeals process by next month

With the Digital Economy Bill passing through the House of Commons last week, copyright holders will soon have the ability to apply for file-sharers to have their internet connection cut off, provided the user has received multiple notifications of infringement.

Copyright holders can also apply for a court order to force ISPs to hand over the subscriber’s name and address to mount a legal case against the alleged infringer.

MPs and the Digital Economy Bill

Did they know what they were talking about?

Ofcom will publish a draft code of conduct by May, outlining how copyright holders can request notifications of infringement be sent and how users can appeal against them. It will also create a methodology for “estimating levels of file-sharing”.

A full published statement will be released in September after responses to the draft from ISPs, consumer groups and copyright holders have been collated and considered, before the code is approved by Ofcom and sent to the European Commission for consideration. Ofcom said the quick timeline was due to the bill’s eight-month timetable for a code to be released, which includes an obligatory three-month approval period by the EC.

The regulatory body added it was also expected to publish quarterly and annual summaries of the impact of the bill, keeping track of the number of infringements, repeat infringements, the number of notification challenges and how effectively the Government is educating consumers on the impact of the law and file-sharing. Ofcom will also check that there is adequate “availability of attractive, lawful alternative services” every year.

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