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Appeal judges uphold internet piracy law

7 March 2012

The legal challenge to the Digital Economy Act 2010 lost the latest round in the Court of Appeal in London yesterday.

Three judges refused an appeal by internet service providers BT and TalkTalk against a judge's decision that the Act's provisions designed to combat illegal file sharing do not contravene European law.

Under the Act, ISPs have to send warning letters to those who engage in copyright infringement, and cut off their service if they do not desist.

In court the ISPs also argued that the Act would mean disproportionate costs for consumers as well as for themselves, and lead to an invasion of privacy. The judges however held that the High Court judge, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, had reached a sound decision in ruling that the Act was a proportionate response to the serious problem of fie sharing, and there were sufficient safeguards to protect the rights of consumers and ISPs.

They refused a request to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a ruling on European law.

Illegal file sharing of copyright films, music and books is estimated to cost the creative industries about £400m each year.

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