TalkTalk slams piracy charges

Steve Dinneen
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TALKTALK has slammed government proposals to charge Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for its strategy to combat internet piracy.

The firm argues plans laid out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will cost internet users.

The Digital Economy Act (DEA) forces ISPs such as TalkTalk to send notices to users suspected of illegally downloading copyright material and bar persistant offenders.

Now BIS says the costs will be split between copyright holders, who will pay 75 per cent, and ISPs who will be liable for the rest.

Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk’s director of regulation, said: “It is absolutely outrageous that ISPs and broadband customers will be forced to pay for the costs of the music and film industries to enforce their own copyright.

“The DEA means many innocent customers will be falsely accused of filesharing and put on an ‘offenders register’ though they have broken no law.

“Far from encouraging a more digitally inclusive nation, these measures will simply alienate web users. Moreover, they don’t tackle the root cause of the problem – the creative industry’s failure to adapt its business model to the 21st century.”

The DEA attracted fierce criticism before it was passed into law during “wash-up”, the period between parliament being dissolved and a new government being formed. A major point of contention is that the onus is on internet users to prove their innocence.