Robust appeals process for DEB

UK communications industry regulator Ofcom has moved to assure the public that anyone accused of illegal filesharing under the recently passed Digital Economy Bill legislation will have access to a robust and effective appeals mechanism”.

The most contentious inclusion in the DEB was the provision for authorities to demand ISPs block access to sites deemed guilty of hosting copyrighted material. What worried critics was a site’s ability to defend itself against accusations, as the DEB did little to detail how this would work.

Qualifying ISPs will be required to notify subscribers of allegations made by copyright owners that their account has been used for unlawful file sharing and to maintain a list of the subscribers who receive multiple unchallenged notifications,” Ofcom explained to TechRadar.

Subscribers must be provided with sufficient information in any notification such that they can challenge the basis under which the notification has been sent. They must also have access to a robust and effective appeals mechanism.

Subscribers on those lists may have their details passed to relevant copyright owners who may pursue legal action, though any such transfer of personal information will require a Court Order. Any processing of subscriber data must be in compliance with the relevant data protection laws.”

Ofcom is understood to be considering letting ISPs formulate their own code of conduct, with a provisional deadline of eight months being set down.

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