Ofcom, the UK telecommunication regulator and competition authority, in an attempt to smooth over the uproar caused by the passing of the controversial Digital Economy Bill, has announced a 'robust' appeals process for those accused off illegal file sharing of copyrighted material.
The regulator ordered that copyright holders needed to procure a court order before badgering internet service providers for information on persistent illegal file sharers. The terms of reference issued by the regulator will allow users to challenge any copyright infringement notifications which they receive. Ofcom has also made it mandatory for internet service providers to supply users with enough information to challenge any copyright infringement charge.
Explaining the intricacies of its decision, Ofcom said in its manifest that “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 notification.”
The Digital Economy Bill, which was hastily passed by the House of Commons, has been severely criticised by the ISPs and the general public alike, for its draconian regulations, which apart from restricting the broadband speed of users, can also force ISPs to permanently cut the internet connection of file sharers.