Digital Economy Bill here to stay

New Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has stated that the new Government will not overturn the Digital Economy Bill, as rushed through in the last few weeks of Labour's tenure.

The controversial bill which, among other things, requires internet service providers to fire warning letters to those suspected of copyright infringement, and suspend accounts of repeat offenders, will stand.

"We're not going to repeal it", said Hunt, matter-of-factly, when talking to paidContent:UK.

However, the proposal that allowed the blocking of websites containing links or support for illegal file-sharing was never part of the original act, and is now unlikely to be passed into law.

Additionally, Ofcom, who is consulting on how some sections of the act are to be implemented, has announced that only fixed-line ISPs with more than 400,000 customers will initially be required to take action over suspected illegal file-sharers. Smaller providers escape for now.

Hunt's comments, though, come as a savage blow to campaigners and opposers, such as Talk Talk, who were hoping that, with the LibDems promising to repeal the Bill in their pre-election manifesto, that the coalition Government may follow suit.

Indeed, over 62 per cent of Pocket-lint readers think the Government should abolish the Bill, according to the latest figures of the on-going PL poll. But, it seems, the battle may already be lost.



>