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Digital Economy Act judgement backs industry jobs

21 April 2011

The TUC has called on BT and Talk Talk to stop their delaying tactics and to implement the law of the land following yesterday's High Court ruling (20 April) on their judicial review complaint.

Commenting on the judgement, Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary said:

“We are delighted with today’s outcome. BT and Talk Talk’s case has been blown out of the water.

Piracy is theft

“This is a major boost to people who work in the creative industries and whose livelihoods are put at risk because creative content is stolen on a daily basis.

“The sector supports nearly two million jobs and with piracy depriving businesses of up to 20 per cent of revenues.

“The Judge has made it extremely clear that the Digital Economy Act is a fair, focussed, proportionate and efficient system for consumers and the creative industry.

“The judgement is clear, BT and Talk Talk should stop their delaying tactics and get on with implementing the law of the land.”

Solid legal framework

Welcoming the decision, BECTU's assistant general secretary, Martin Spence said:

"This is a significant victory in our battle to protect future jobs in the media and entertainment industries. It means we still have a solid legal framework to tackle online copyright theft."

The Digital Economy Act was challenged on five separate grounds by BT and Talk Talk. The High Court dismissed all challenges to the Digital Economy Act provisions made by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs), except for a relatively narrow finding that the provisions of the draft costs statutory instrument, framed to require ISPs to pay part of the operating costs of OFCOM and the Appeals Body, would be unlawful.

Following yesterday's judgement it will now be for the government to decide how best to address the costs sharing provision for the internal costs incurred by ISPs in receiving and processing Copyright Infringement Reports.

Creative Coalition Campaign

Members of the Creative Coalition Campaign acted together in this case to underline the importance of upholding the provisions of the Digital Economy Act which became law in April 2010. Member of the CCC include:

  • The unions: Equity, The Musicians Union, BECTU and Unite
  • The Producers Alliance for Cinema and TV (“PACT”) – the UK trade association representing and promoting the commercial interests of independent feature film, TV, digital, children’s and animation media companies.
  • The British Video Association (“BVA”) – the trade body that represents the interests of publishers and rights owners of video home entertainment.
  • The Film Distributors’ Association (“FDA”) – the trade body for theatrical film distributors in the UK – the companies that release films for UK cinema audiences.
  • The Motion Picture Association (“MPA”) - which represents the six major international producers and distributors of film, home entertainment and TV programmes.
  • BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) (“BPI”) - which represents the interests of independent and major record companies in the UK. BPI currently has over 400 members who produce approximately 90% of the sound recordings which are sold legally within the UK.
  • The Premier League – which represents the interests of the 20 Premier League football clubs and protects the audio-visual works that are owned by and exclusively licensed by the Premier League.

The Creative Coalition Campaign united majors sectors of the industry during debate on the Digital Economy Bill in 2009.  

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