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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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Iptegrity in brief

 

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing. I am on the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group.  I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. For more, see About Iptegrity

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