The Culture Media and Sport Committee held an evidence session on the work of Ofcom today. The Committee briefly touched on the DEA and Louise Bagshawe, the Conservative MP and author, questioned Ofcom’s CEO Ed Richards about the implementation schedule of the Act.
Mr Richards stated that that the Copyright Infringement Notification scheme will not be operational for many months from now and that it may well take another 12 months before the first CIRs are sent out. He further explained that:
- As members are aware, Ofcom completed its work on the Obligations Code and submitted it to Government months ago.
- The Code is currently being subjected to a scrutiny process across Government departments and will be submitted to the EU Commission once it has cleared this process.
- Following the JR, the Government will have to reissue the Sharing of Costs Order to accommodate the High Court’s decision that ISPs cannot be asked to pay set up costs.
- Ofcom will submit its report on the web blocking powers under the DEA in the course of this month
Ed Richards also briefly touched on Ofcom’s content regulation role. He explained that this power is not yet redundant but potentially on ‘on borrowed time’, given the ease of accessing content on the internet. He stated that this is something that Parliament needs to work out over the next years and that the new Communications Act will be an opportunity to implement changes.
I assume this is Ed Richards side stepping the complicated issue of web filtering.
Readers may be aware that Ms Bagshawe is a former author and in favour of rightsholder’s interest. In her statements on online copyright issues she frequently refers to her conversations with the BPI.
I am indebted to ISPA for the detail of this report. For those interested the Judicial Review judgement can be found here with cost sharing covered in paragraphs 184 – 200.