Ofcom code fails Digital Economy Act requirements

The Open Rights Group will be asking independent communications watchdog Ofcom to go back to the drawing board with its draft code which is supposed to outline how ISPs provide evidence in copyright infringement cases.

ORG's Kim Killock says that the draft Initial Obligations Code fails to comply with rules set out under the much-despised Digital Economy Act, which was steamrollered into law by a bunch of ill-informed parliamentary puppets who were having their strings firmly tugged by Big Media lobbyists.

"The draft governs the way that copyright owners send accusations of copyright infringement to Internet users under the Digital Economy Act," writes Killock. "In some cases, this will lead to individuals being taken to court.

"Ofcom's proposal denies us the ability to check whether the methods of collecting of the evidence are trustworthy. Instead, copyright holders and Internet service providers will just self-certify that everything's OK. If they get it wrong, there's no penalty."

The Act requires the evidential standards to be defined - but Ofcom is leaving this up the rights holders and ISPs to decide in the future. "How is anyone meant to trust this code if we can't see how the evidence is gathered or checked?," asked Killock.