Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny submission

July 16, 2012 12:17 PM

Last week our submission to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee was published. We submitted our concerns regarding the Draft Online Infringement (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order 2012. This draft order lays out how the costs will be shared for the implementation of the Digital Economy Act (DEA). Though the Act was passed in 2010, it has yet to be implemented fully and there continues to be concerns over the quality and efficacy of the legislation itself.

The DEA contains measures to curb illegal online copyright infringement through mass notification of users who copyright holders identify as possible infringers. OFCOM is required to set out how the scheme will work and a cost sharing is one of the many ways this is accomplished. The costs will be divided between copyright holders and internet service providers 75:25 and an appeal will cost £20 for any user who has been notified.

Our concern was that small to medium enterprises will be impacted greatly if treated as vendors of WiFi who will be subject to constant infringement notifications. In short we argued,

“This potential punitive measure amounts to a stealth tax on SMEs. Most, if not all small businesses need to diversify their offering order to bring customers in to their shops. The use and availability of WiFi is one of the ways in which that can be accomplished. SMEs are in the business of doing business and not chasing after the wrongdoings of their customers who may act in such a way illegally.”

To read the full report and our response, please see Session 2012-2013, 7th report here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/secondary-legislation-scrutiny-committee/publications/Last week our submission to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee was published. We submitted our concerns regarding the Draft Online Infringement (Initial Obligations) (Sharing of Costs) Order 2012. This draft order lays out how the costs will be shared for the implementation of the Digital Economy Act (DEA). Though the Act was passed in 2010, it has yet to be implemented fully and there continues to be concerns over the quality and efficacy of the legislation itself.

The DEA contains measures to curb illegal online copyright infringement through mass notification of users who copyright holders identify as possible infringers. OFCOM is required to set out how the scheme will work and a cost sharing is one of the many ways this is accomplished. The costs will be divided between copyright holders and internet service providers 75:25 and an appeal will cost £20 for any user who has been notified.

Our concern was that small to medium enterprises will be impacted greatly if treated as vendors of WiFi who will be subject to constant infringement notifications. In short we argued,

“This potential punitive measure amounts to a stealth tax on SMEs. Most, if not all small businesses need to diversify their offering order to bring customers in to their shops. The use and availability of WiFi is one of the ways in which that can be accomplished. SMEs are in the business of doing business and not chasing after the wrongdoings of their customers who may act in such a way illegally.”

To read the full report and our response, please see Session 2012-2013, 7th report here:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/secondary-legislation-scrutiny-committee/publications/

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