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UK ISPs To Share Costs In Illegal Filesharing Crackdown

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Internet Service Providers in the UK have been informed by government regulators that they will be on the hook for 25% of the costs of notifying and prosecuting illegal filesharers, with rights holders picking up the tab for the remaining 75%.

The ruling, released on September 14th, breaks down the cost obligations for ISPs and rights holders for the new system, which will be implemented in the first half of 2011. Ofcom, the UK regulatory body overseeing communications, has until December 2010 to complete the development of the Online Copyright Infringement Initial Obligations Code which will govern the process of identification and notification of illegal file sharers.

One bright point for ISPs is that arguments by rights holders that the ISPs should share the costs of detection of illicit file sharing as well, was rejected by Ofcom.

"At the level of the individual copyright owner the level of detection activity (and any legal action) is a matter for them. It was considered these were largely 'business as usual' costs that copyright owners would face as part of protecting their own copyright material." the Ofcom ruling stated.

The ruling also stipulated that consumers will not be charged a fee to file an appeal of a notification of illegal download activity. However, the ruling noted that the government retained the right to impose fees for "vexatious appeals." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers