Journal of Intellectual Property, Information Technology and E-Commerce Law (JIPITEC)

The Digital Economy Act in the dock - a proportionate ruling?

by Monica Horten

Abstract: The UK’s Digital Economy Act 2010 contains  measures to enforce copyright on the Internet, specifically
a two-tiered form of a graduated response. The Act was challenged in the High Court by two of
the UK’s biggest Internet Service Providers (ISP), who obtained a Judicial Review of the copyright enforcement
provisions. This paper is an overview of the case, based on the hearing of March 2011 and the
ensuing judgement. It focuses on the two most hotly  contested grounds for the challenge, namely an alleged
failure to notify the European Commission under the Technical Standards Directive, and the proportionality
or otherwise of the contested provisions.  It observes how the judgement accepted the defence
argumentation of the government and the copyright  owners as interested parties, and how the ISPs appeared
to be put on the back foot.

JIPITEC is an open access journal. The full article is available here.