Digital Economy Act: Ofcom Gives Four Months For P2P Consultation

Parliament may have put the Digital Economy Bill to bed as it entered election mode, but now the media regulator is left to implement its P2P anti-piracy measures – and it’s starting immediately

Ofcom says
— It will draft the code, governing how ISPs must notify infringing subscribers, by May, and will put it out to widespread consultation.
— It will settle on the code by September.
— It will submit the code, in the form of a draft statutory instrument, for required European Commission approval at the same time, by September.

Since EC approval takes at least three months, it means infringing downloaders will not start receiving letters from their ISPs until at least December 2010.

Under the Act, Ofcom did not need to draw up the code until eight months following last week’s Royal Assent (December), so, on this timeline, it’s aiming to operate three months more quickly than technically necessary…

It’s also giving a considerable four months, between the draft code’s publication in May and settling on a final code in September, for stakeholder consultation – more than the couple of days MPs had to debate it in the Commons.

If the notifications – which will come along with advice on legal download options and WiFi security – do not “significantly reduce” file sharing, the government will be able to order ISPs to implement