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Loopholes found in Digital Economy Act

A small British ISP claims to have identified loopholes in the new Digital Economy Act that would allow it to ignore its anti-piracy provisions in many cases.

Andrews & Arnold reckons its business and residential subscribers could essentially opt out of most of the Act by classifying themselves as 'communications providers'.

A&A says it could buy access to its customers' IP address blocks for a nominal 1p a month, turning the relationship into one of 'peering' rather than subscribing.

This, the firm claims, would make the customer not a 'subscriber' but a 'communications provider', not covered by the provisions of the Act relating to copyright infringement.

The Act defines a subscriber as 'a person who receives the service under an agreement between the person and the provider of the service; and does not receive it as a communications provider'.

Under the controversial law, ISPs are obliged to enforce copyright laws on behalf of the music and movie businesses by warning or possibly throttling their subscribers.

A&A has already taken the step of allowing customers to self-define as a communications provider.

It's not the first time the ISP has taken a contrary stance on matters of law. It's also one of the few ISPs in the UK not to censor web sites based on the Internet Watch Foundation's list of kiddy porn sites.