Loophole for downloaders? 'Small' ISPs to be exempt from new filesharing laws

illegal-downloading1The 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."


  • Noghar
    A government regulatory body just making the rules up as it goes along? Surely not. After the tens of minutes Parliament spent poring over the details of the DE Bill...
  • PJH
    Is it too much for a householder to become their own "ISP" as it were. For either themselves or (perhaps reciprocally) for their neighbours?
  • Ted S.
    I use a typewriter for all my internet browsing. You'll never take me alive, coppers.
  • Gunn
    Is it not just the case of running your connection through a proxy that encrypts the data, ok it might slow down your downloading but they won't have a clue what data your downloading.
  • Brian's U.
    Hang on, has filesharing become a criminal offence instead of a civil offence with the introduction of the DEB? If so then you are innocent until proven guilty. How are they going to do that? With an IP address? That doesn't prove who was using the computer or the network at all. I'm no lawyer so my comment could be all rubbish
  • Mr M.
    Entanet anyone?
  • Ten B.
    [...] Loophole for downloaders? ‘Small’ ISPs to be exempt from new filesharing laws [...]
  • Maria
    Just vote for the Lib Dems, they'll repeal the bill!
  • Born2Hula
    I actually sat in the Parliament session where they discussed the DE bill. About 6 MP's were in attendence, one was asleep, several others were just texting on their phones. Nobody listened to whoever was speaking, and although the other parties were ostensibly trying to oppose the bill, at no point was there discussion on any kind of alternative. God bless Democracy!
  • The D.
    Here's the stupid thing about the new law. They say they want to Prevent artists and creators of the content you download from losing cash they deserve. But the thing is, people like me use downloading as a form of testing, like renting or borrowing. If I don't like it, I delete it from my harddrive the same day. If I like it, I go out and buy it! But nevermind, now the laws in place I'm going to pretty much stop buying stuff because now I'm unsure of whether the thing I want to buy will meet my expectations or not and I don't really want to risk wasting money on something that turn out to be something I don't like. Here are some examples of products I originally downloaded and then bought afterwards: avenged sevenfold self titled album avenged sevenfold city of evil littlebigplanet psp grand theft auto vice city stories psp heroes of might and magic pc assassins creed pc bully pc Tony hawks underground 2 remix psp Harry potter and the order of the Phoenix psp gta 3 pc gta liberty city stories psp those are just a few examples off the top of my head, and also I Originally emulated NDS on my pc and downloaded the games for it to test it out and see what it features and I'm going to buy one this year because the downloads ensured me that it has some games i'm interested in buying. The law was put in place by people who have money to waste. What about individuals who aren't so well off and don't want to spend their earnings on something that turns out to not be something they wanted?

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