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EU Slams Copyright Law as UK Admits No Evidence for the Digital Economy Act

By Mark Jackson

ISP Review, 21 November, 2011

A key civil servant whom helped author the UK governments 2010 Digital Economy Act (DEA / DEAct), which seeks to tackle "illegal" internet copyright infringement (piracy) by forcing controversial new measures upon broadband ISPs and their customers (e.g. account "suspension"), has admitted that the acts "impact assessment was not based on new research or evidence".

The comments, which also assert that the only real "evidence" to be associated with the acts construction came from the Rights Holders themselves, is technically nothing new. However both the past (Labour) and present coalition (Conservative / Liberal Democrat) government have preferred not to talk about it.

Civil Servant, Adrian Brazier, told BIS's Parliamentary Select Committee (IPTegrity):

"It is reasonable to acknowledge that the Open Rights Group have something of a point about the evidence used for the Digital Economy Act. It was somewhat opaque. The impact assessment was not based on new research or evidence.

We had no independent source of information. It is probably fair to say that the evidence we had, had been offered by the rights-holders, they were unwilling to lift the bonnet and let us see the engines, if you like the workings and methodology.

We were trying to make the best brick we could with what straw we could find. In those circumstances, I would say however, that we were always clear as to the provenance of the sources we were quoting. We never claimed they were government figures. We were clear that these were figures that were provided by the rights-holders."

See the full cited article We had no evidence for DEAct, UK gov't confesses

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

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