BT and TalkTalk to appeal DEA decision
BT and TalkTalk have asked for an appeal of a judicial review that refused to overturn aspects of the controversial Digital Economy Act.
The pair of ISPs joined forces last year calling for a review of the Act, raising concerns about the impact the laws could have on their businesses and whether it was properly scrutinised by Government before being pushed through in the so-called “wash-up” phase of the last parliament.
Both companies believe the High Court’s conclusions on many of the other important and complex issues put before it were not robust enough to provide the certainty and clarity which the companies sought
Among other new laws, the DEA will bring in new anti-piracy legislation, requiring ISPs to maintain lists of accused illegal file-sharers and potentially cut off the access of the worst infringers.
The ISPs raised five issues with the High Court, but lost on four counts. It ruled in favour of the pair by deciding that it was against EU rules to force ISPs to pay for the administrative costs of the DEA, but found the act broadly met EU law on the other issues raised.
“Both companies believe the High Court’s conclusions on many of the other important and complex issues put before it were not robust enough to provide the certainty and clarity which the companies sought,” BT said.
BT and TalkTalk are seeking to have the Court of Appeal examine the case, but will drop one of the five complaints, saying their argument that the Act was a “disproportionate interference” with rights of ISPs and users.
While both companies still feel that’s the case, they have decided not to push the difficult-to-prove issue this time around.
BT and TalkTalk stressed that the appeal wasn’t just about money, but about protecting customers.
“Quite apart from the potential impact on their businesses, BT and TalkTalk believe the DEA could harm the basic rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,” BT added in a statement. “Many MPs of all parties, consumer groups and other communications providers share this view.”