BT and TalkTalk have lost their latest appeal against elements of the Digital Economy Act (DEA) relating to file sharing.
The two ISPs contended that some parts of the Act contravene EU law by requiring them to police users' behaviour, send warning letters to illegal downloaders and, in some cases, terminate internet connections.
The court of appeal ruled in favour of the rights' holders and the Acts' authors, however, finding that the Act is legal in the light of EU law and, essentially, giving the greenlight for the legislation to be put in place.
It's not great financial news for the ISPs, with BT and TalkTalk now required to pay 93 per cent of the court costs as well as a quarter of what it will cost to run the piracy crack-down.
Although rights holders are gleeful over the failure of the appeal, Peter Bradwell of Open Rights Group is concerned that it's a pointless law that will not serve to stem piracy, only web freedoms.
"There is one thing the court cannot tell us: that this is a good law," he said.
"The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had no evidence when they wrote this Act, except for the numbers they were given by a couple of industry trade bodies. This is a policy made on hearsay and assumptions, not proper facts or analysis.
"So significant problems remain. Publicly available wifi will be put at risk. Weak evidence could be used to penalise people accused of copyright infringement. And people will have to pay £20 for the privilege of defending themselves against these accusations.
"The Government needs to correct these errors with a proper, evidence-based review of the law."
The Open Rights Groups' concerns echo those of TalkTalk, which recently suggested that the DEA will punish the innocent.
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