BT and TalkTalk will continue their battle against the Digital Economy Act after their request to appeal against a High Court decision over the Act was granted.
The UK ISPs first called for the High Court to launch a review into the Digital Economy Act, which contains a number of proposals about how to tackle internet piracy, in July last year. The pair said the Act, which became law in April last year during the wash-up period before the general election, was "rushed through" and had "insufficient scrutiny". The two firms were also concerned that measures to tackle net piracy - including plans to temporarily suspend people from the web - could be in breach of "basic rights and freedoms".
However, the judicial review, which began in March this year, rejected four out of the five claims put forward by the ISPs. In May, the pair said they wanted those four grounds looked at again but the application to appeal was rejected by judge Sir Richard Buxton in June. The ISPs then approached Lord Justice Lewison, who has successfully granted the pair leave to appeal.
A hearing, which is expected to begin next year, will take place at the court of appeal and will be overseen by three judges.
"We are pleased to have been granted permission to appeal the high court judgment," said BT.
"We now expect that the hearing will take place as soon as possible."
Under one of the measures in the Digital Economy Act, the government wanted ISPs to issue ‘warning letters’ to account holder’s whose internet connections had been used in illegal file-sharing. It was hoped the first batch of letters would be issued in the first half of 2012, however, it’s likely this will now be delayed while the outcome of the appeal is decided.
The news comes just weeks after the Liberal Democrats have pledged to repeal "damaging parts" of the Digital Economy Act.