British ISPs BT and TalkTalk have lost a ruling in the UK Court of Appeal which paves the way for the UK to adopt a "three-strikes" regime as part of the UK’s Digital Economy Act.
The ISPs submitted an appeal to the controversial new laws, citing that it may be incompatible with existing EU laws. But the Court of Appeal rejected these claims to the delight of copyright holders.
Under the proposed plans, UK Internet users will start receiving warning letters when they are alleged to have downloaded pirated content. After a year's review of the effect of these letters, tougher measures may be adopted including speed throttling and even disconnections.
The disconnections approach, dubbed "three-strikes", have already been in operation for nearly two years in France, with mixed results in regards to piracy prevention - only 4% surveyed said that the new laws has changed their pirating habits. And while the copyright industry points to rise in iTunes music sales in France by the tune of $5 million in the two years since "three-strikes" has been introduced (although critics have rightly pointed out that the trend started before "three-strikes" was introduced), the agency responsible for handling three-strikes is costing the government $90 million a year.
Open Rights Group's Peter Bradwell said that these proposed changes to UK copyright law needs further review, instead of simply relying on evidence and numbers provided by rights holders. "This is a policy made on hearsay and assumptions, not proper facts or analysis," Bradwell said in a statement.