It has been announced that people who are suspected of being internet pirates will have 20 working days to appeal against any allegations made regarding infringement of copyright at a cost of £20, according to the revision of plans in place to enforce Britain’s Digital Economy Act.
Speaking about the act Ed Vaizey, Creative Industries Minister, said, “We must ensure our creative industries can protect their investment. “ They have the right to charge people to access their content if they wish, whether in the physical world or on the internet.”
Campaigners have criticised the fee, stating that while £20 might seem like a nominal sum to some people it could have the effect of putting off people on limited means from challenging wrongful allegations. Mike O’ Connor from the campaign group Focus, said, “Copyright infringement is not to be condoned, but people who are innocent should not have to pay a fee to challenge accusations. Twenty pounds may sound like a small sum, but it could deter those living on low-incomes from challenging unfair allegations.”
Elsewhere, the move against copyright infringement has been welcomed with the Creative Coalition Campaign urging ISPs to work with rights holders as well as with Ofcom and the government to get the system of sending out notifications of copyright infringement as soon as possible.
It is expected that the scheme will come in to affect in 2014 when any users who are suspected of illegally accessing copied files will receive a letter from their ISP.