The consultation on the Initial Obligations Code required as part of the Digital Economy Act has been delayed. Originally due out at the end of July it missed this date and because it has to be issued whilst parliament is sitting was not therefore published during the summer break.
This is currently slipping week by week presumably whilst the government tries to make its mind up regarding the content. I am also told that potentially the Cost Sharing part of the DEAct might need to be referred to the European Commission which would mean a three month delay. It looks likely that the launch of the Code of Practice which has to be done in January 2011 will be a softly softly low key affair. I can’t imagine that the CoP will be in a usable state at that time.
Whilst BT and Talk Talk have asked for a Judicial Review into the whole process of the creation of the DEAct (if that you describe the making of a new law) it certainly seems to me that the ISP industry is still not putting in enough effort and making enough noise on the subject.
For example the Proposals on Cost Sharing are due out for consultation in October. The mooted baseline for who pays what has been 75% Rights Holders 25% ISPs. RHs would prefer this to be 50/50. ISPs are outraged that they have to pay anything towards protecting the commercial interests of the music industry.
UK Music under the leadership of Feargal Sharkey is lobbying flat out in the run up to the issuing of this cost sharing consultation.
The problem for ISPs is that the internet is a boring nuts and bolts game. It isn’t sexy. The sexy bit comes with the content that is downloaded (unlawfully or otherwise). It is a lot easier for RHs and content providers to attract the attention of politicians and those in positions of influence. I am talking about invitations to awards ceremonies, parties with pop stars etc.
One example is the forthcoming Party Conference season. At the Labour conference in Manchester UK Music is holding a party jointly sponsored by the Daily Mirror. The timing of this is perfect if one was trying to affect the structure of the DEAct Cost Consultation. For all I know UK Music is doing the same thing at the other Party Conferences.
ISPs need to get their act together as an industry to match these efforts.
PS if you are in the area and want to go to the party the details are here. It’s on Sunday 26th at 8.30 pm. Don’t forget to take your autograph book 🙂