The Digital Economy Act: Is it doomed to never happen?

As a further delay hits part of the implementation of the Digital Economy Act, is this just a small hiccup, or is the Act being rendered toothless already? Simon Brew takes a look.

The Pirate ban

Ironically, this continues to bubble at a point where ISPs are being directed to block access to The Pirate Bay in the UK. The High Court ordered UK ISPs to prevent access to the site, and all are expected to comply. However, just tracking the history of The Pirate Bay case, and it's as far back as April 2009 that four of the people behind the site were convicted. Three years later, the site is as popular as ever, and the legal process rumbles on.

That gives a hint at what potentially lies next for the Digital Economy Act. After all, if it's taken this long to put the legislation together, and if it's going to take another two years to enact it fully, then imagine the next stage. Sooner or later, somebody is going to be disconnected from the Internet, and sooner or later, an appeal against that is going to be heard in a court of law. If that doesn't go to plan

The bottom line appears to be that an Act that was already proving difficult to enforce in full is losing just a little of its bite, at best. It may be another temporary delay, but the problem remains that with each passing year, it runs the danger of being less relevant, and raises fears that it may never be fully activated in law.

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If the delays go on too much longer, Lord Carter might have to write another report...

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