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BT and TalkTalk DEA opposition questioned by Ed Vaizey

Wednesday, July 6th 2011
The communications minister said the internet service providers' attitude towards the Digital Economy Act is "quite odd".
BT and TalkTalk DEA opposition questioned by Ed Vaizey
Communications minister Ed Vaizey has defended the Digital Economy Act (DEA) and queried the continued opposition to the legislation from BT and TalkTalk.

The two internet service providers (ISPs) won a judicial review of the act but failed to get it overturned and have since vowed to fight on, with the companies currently seeking an oral appeal from the Court of Justice regarding the matter.

In a speech at the Intellect 2011 Conference, Mr Vaizey said the DEA is necessary to prevent rights holders from being ripped off by filesharers and websites that stream live sport without permission to do so, reports V3.

He went on to state the repeated failure of BT and TalkTalk to have the legislation scrapped is evidence that it has been properly drawn up.

This is in direct conflict to the view of the two ISPs, which have argued the DEA was rushed through parliament in the final days of the Labour government and consequently was not given sufficient scrutiny.

Branding the attitude of the telecoms firms as "quite odd", Mr Vaizey remarked: "BT has spent so much time litigating against an act of parliament and fallen at every hurdle, which is a great endorsement of the work officials did in putting the act together.

"No one is saying business models don't have to change, but that doesn't mean you sit back and let people rip off other people's content."

His comments come as BT finds itself embroiled in a legal battle with a group of major Hollywood film studios, which are calling for the ISP to restrict access to Newzbin, a prominent filesharing website that offers software, music, TV programmes and movies.

The Motion Picture Association targeted BT in the landmark case due to the telecoms giant's position as the largest broadband provider in the UK. If the case is successful, the group is keen for other ISPs to follow suit by blocking the site. 

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