#DEAct continues to cause problems as Parliamentary joint committee highlights concerns with cost sharing mechanisms

The Digital Economy Act, which you may recall was rushed through by the last government with inadequate consultation in the desperate dying days of its tenure continues to create a stir. This time the joint committee on Statutory Instruments has strongly criticised the Draft Online Infringement (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order 2012 which Ofcom is also currently consulting on.

The Order has been brought by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) no doubt trying to clear the decks before they all shoot off to watch the London 2012 perform official duties at the olympics. In its report the joint committee says:

This instrument is drawn to the special attention of the House on the grounds that it gives rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the House and it may imperfectly achieve its policy objective

Criticisms include:

  • Concern that the Order had been laid in the House whilst consultation was still ongoing and is not based on full information
  • Lack of detail from rights holders or a commitment that they would actually use the notification system to its fullest (what’s that all about? why would they go to so much effort to get a law passed to support their private business interest and then not use its powers?)
  • Insufficient evidence is provided to judge whether £20 “appeal fee” is the appropriate amount given that significant parts of the structure of the scheme and the appeal mechanism are still undecided.

The whole sad, sorry story continues.

PS thanks to ISPA for being around to constantly monitor this stuff. Someone has to read through and interpret the detailed legal blurb that comes out of Parliament.

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.