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Broadband users won't pay to appeal copyright cases

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A draft order vital to the implementation of anti-piracy measures has been laid before Parliament.

The statutory instrument, officially titled the "The Online Infringement of Copyright (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order 2011" ensures that broadband users won't have to pay anything to appeal copyright cases. As expected, the costs are shared by copyright holders and ISPs in a 75:25 split.

The instrument becomes law for a 12-month period. Before then, a judicial review sought by BT and TalkTalk will be heard, on 22 and 23 March.

Progress has been glacial since last spring, when literally dozens of bloggers stayed up until almost midnight to tweet the passage of the Act. Ofcom's Initial Obligations Code, optimistically touted for publication by September, has still not appeared. This would detail the er ... obligations for rightsholders and ISPs for a 12-month monitoring period, and requires EU clearance. If infringement activity hadn't fallen, then (and only then) would pirate-smacking measures would be drawn up.

"For anyone determined to be the first Mandybill Martyr, the first bandwidth throttling or account suspension won’t then take place before Summer or Autumn 2012 – well over two years away," we wrote last April. You can add at least six months to that. ®

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