Speedy Action on Action 13?

February 23, 2009

Key industry stakeholders, consumer organisations and others have been contacted by the BERR with a view to eliciting a quick response on just one the proposal in the interim Digital Britain Report. The Report gave the Government’s response on the P2P consultation and stated its intent to legislate.

The e-mail from the BERR indicates that they are in the process of pulling together the Action 13 consultation, in close co-operation with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the Intellectual Property Office. That consultation will apparently describe the proposals and be seeking views on the detail and process. Although the DBR itself called for comments and feedback by 12th March, the BERR e-mail calls for ‘any initial thoughts’ and asks in particular for information on costs related to notifications, identification of infringers, court action etc.

Action 13 stated:
‘Our response to the consultation on peer-to-peer file sharing sets out our intention to legislate, requiring ISPs to notify alleged infringers of rights (subject to reasonable levels of proof from rights- holders) that their conduct is unlawful. We also intend to require ISPs to collect anonymised information on serious repeat infringers (derived from their notification activities), to be made available to rights-holders together with personal details on receipt of a court order. We intend to consult on this approach shortly, setting out our proposals in detail.’

The DBR goes on to say:
‘These obligations will form the central elements of a Code on unlawful file-sharing which Industry would be required to have in place, supported by backstop powers overseen by Ofcom. The Code would cover among other issues practical supporting measures, including appeals and standards of evidence. It would also cover cost-sharing.’

The DBR can be found at: