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October 9, 2012

FAST demands expansion of anti-piracy regime to include 4G networks

DEA was passed in 2010 and could be implemented after 2014

By CBR Staff Writer

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has sought broadening of Digital Economy Act (DEA) purview to include upcoming anti-piracy regime to include mobile operators, claiming that the launch of 4G broadband networks in the UK would increase illegal filesharing.

The UK regulator Ofcom has framed an Initial Obligations Code, which is a set of rules created to bring into force the most contentious features of the Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA).

The DEA was initially passed in 2010 but is not likely to be implemented until 2014, due to delays and legal challenges.

Following the implementation, DEA will need Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver warning letters to those illegal distributors and enlist repeat infringers.

FAST general council Julian Heathcote Hobbins said the DEA has the potential to be a valuable piece of legislation in the fight against illicit peer-to-peer copyright infringement and a significant development for rights holders as an educational programme.

"However, the DEA must remain timely," Hobbins said.

"The issue is that by the time the DEA is finally implemented, technology could have moved on so far making the Act ineffective in helping to deal with those using 4G networks to share files.

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"In its current form the DEA is not sufficiently flexible in scope to account for advances in technology."

During the drafting of DEA, mobile networks including 4G and public wi-fi, were not believed sufficiently encouraging the effective and complete copyright infringement.

While the new developments including the launch of 4G networks and rise in public wi-fi services, are expected to generate new occasions for copyright infringement further than the existing range of the DEA.

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