The Digital Economy Bill, the move rushed in during the last days of the Labour government that would see ISPs suspending the accounts of illegal file-sharers, will not be repealed.
That is according to the New Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Many had hoped that a Conservative coalition with the Liberal Democrats in the new government would lead to the bill being scrapped, as was suggested by the LibDem’s pre-election manifesto. However, this will not be the case. “We’re not going to repeal it” Hunt bluntly told Paid Content.
Any fixed-line ISP with over 400,000 customers will now be required to send letters of warning to those downloading copyrighted material illegally. Those who do not heed the order will see their accounts suspended for an as-yet-indeterminate period of time. The bill is expected to eventually expand to cover ISPs with customer numbers less than 400,000 too.
Though the news will come as a blow to campaigners, at least one of the bill’s most controversial points will not be carried out by the new government. Plans had initially been in place to see websites blocked if they could be used to break copyright laws, meaning that many bit-torrent sites would have faced closure. The new coalition government, as it stands for the time being, have not suggested that they will continue to move on that idea.