DEA Code of Practice limited to providers with 400,000 subscribers
The Digital Economy Act (DEA) code of practice (CoP) being formulated by Ofcom will only apply to ISPs who have more than 400,000 customers, and will not include mobile broadband, according to information from ISPA who met with Ofcom to discuss the code. This is likely to only hold for the short term as all ISPs will eventually be required to comply, but targeting the largest providers first should make the largest dent in curbing copyright infringement.
The code is expected to be released in the next couple of weeks and will cover four main areas:
- process and notification (how a Copyright Infringement Report is generated and sent)
- appeals process for consumers
- dispute resolution between ISPs and rights holders
- costs (an area that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is looking in to)
With the Code being tested on large providers first, it may become apparent further down the line that it isn't quite as suited to smaller providers. We hope that Ofcom pays attention to feedback from smaller providers such as AAISP who have put together ideas for the CoP which they believe will ensure the code is robust and easy for smaller providers to manage.
Of course, it's not entirely clear whether the Digital Economy Act will stay as law under it's current plans. The Liberal Democrats promised to repeal the DEA if they made it into government, something they have partially achieved through coalition. On Sunday at a special party conference, they again re-affirmed this commitment, however it would obviously require the backing of the Conservatives to achieve this.