Loophole for downloaders? 'Small' ISPs to be exempt from new filesharing laws
The Digital Economy Act and all that goes with it is causing a fair ol' stink with a lot of people. Everyone is exasperated and sighing about just how unfair it all is. Well, there may be a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card.
See, regulators are considering creating loopholes in the bill which will allow small, mobile and Wi-Fi ISPs to avoid its copyright enforcement regime, so report The Reg.
This suggested system would have to take into account, the size of an ISP before laying a smackdown against illegal filesharing. Effectively, if it's a small ISP, then they won't be considered to be large carriers of copyright infringement and the cost of sending out letters to those breaking the law would be deemed too high for a little company to deal with.
Many people have also been bemoaning the fact that, should you run a internet cafe (do people still use those?) or a public Wi-Fi hotspot of any kind, you'll get stung by the controversial act. However, the regulators are implying that these people will not be considered to be a major source of copyright infringement as users typically use them for short periods. Well, that might not be the case for very long...
So people using BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Sky, Orange and O2 (providers of more than 95 per cent of the home broadband connections) will be getting chased, prodded and poked by the powers that be, leaving the remaining 5 per cent to do as they please. Of course, no-one actually knows who these smaller ISPs are, but once people find out about them, then there's a good chance that many will sign up with them in an attempt to sidestep the law on their downloads.
However, don't get ahead of yourselves just yet. An Ofcom spokeswoman denied smaller ISPs had been excluded from discussions, which she said were ongoing: "We need to consider a number of different options before setting out some formal proposals in our consultation – nothing is decided before then."