I’ve just sent off JANET(UK)’s response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills consultation on how the costs incurred in implementing the first stage of the Digital Economy Act 2010 will be shared between rightsholders and ISPs. The consultation covers three sets of costs:
- Costs incurred by ISPs in implementing systems to receive and forward copyright infringement reports, and in maintaining the serious infringers list;
- Costs of the new body that hears appeals from subscribers against either reports or inclusion on the serious infringers list;
- Costs incurred by Ofcom in developing and regulating the process.
There’s a detailed analysis of these in a paper commissioned by the Department. The consultation proposes that all three costs will be split between ISPs and rightsholders with ISPs paying 25% and rightsholders 75%.
Our response points out that we cannot yet determine the impact of this on either JANET or its customers, because it is still not clear whether either of us fall within the Act’s definition of “ISP”. Given that, the response comments more generally on the incentives that are created by the allocation of costs. In particular it seems to me dangerous to make ISPs pay part of the costs of appeals, since they only way they can reduce the number of appeals seems to be to not tell their subscribers that they can appeal!
I’ve also pointed out some areas where the proposal is either unclear or may not implement the policy objective that it is supposed to.
UPDATE: There’s also a published response from the London Internet Exchange (LINX)