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TalkTalk slams govt for making ISPs pay to fight file-sharing

Costs will be passed on to web users

TalkTalk has slammed a decision by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that will see ISPs forking out for 25 percent of the costs incurred in combating illegal downloading.

Under the Digital Economy Act, which was passed by the previous Labour government earlier this year, web users suspected of illegal file-sharing will be issued with warning letters and emails.

The government said it was down to the BIS to decide who would cover the costs of identifying illegal downloaders and issuing these letters and emails. The BIS believes copyright holders should pay for 75 percent of the costs, leaving the remainder to be paid by ISPs.

"It is absolutely outrageous that ISPs and broadband customers will be forced to pay for the costs of the music and film industries to enforce their own copyright," said Andrew Heaney from TalkTalk.

Heaney said that under the act, "many innocent customers will be falsely accused of file-sharing and put on an 'offenders register' though they have broken no law and now they are being forced to pay for the privilege".

"Far from encouraging a more digitally inclusive nation, these measures will simply alienate web users. Moreover, they don't tackle the root cause of the problem – the creative industry's failure to adapt its business model to the 21st century."

In July, TalkTalk, along with BT called for a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act, claiming it had been "rushed through" and had received "insufficient scrutiny".

See also: TalkTalk to honour digital heroes

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