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Digital Economy Act 2010

Topic 2: Online infringement of copyright

Section 8: Progress reports

59.Section 8 inserts new section 124F in the 2003 Act. Section 124F places an obligation on OFCOM to prepare full reports (every 12 months) and, subject to any direction by the Secretary of State that they are no longer required, interim reports (every 3 months) about the infringement of copyright by subscribers to internet access services. Each report must be sent to the Secretary of State as soon as practicable after the end of the period for which is prepared. OFCOM must publish their reports but may exclude information they consider they could refuse to disclose under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

60.These reports are intended to help the Secretary of State to monitor trends in online copyright infringement and to ascertain the effectiveness of the obligations on ISPs. As part of the reports OFCOM are, for the first time, required to produce assessments of the level of online infringement of copyright. The reports must also take account of various factors which might affect the level of online copyright infringement, such as the steps taken by copyright owners to enable subscribers to obtain lawful access to copyright works, and the extent to which copyright owners are making CIRs and following up with legal action against subscribers. They are a source of information for the Secretary of State to take into account when taking decisions about whether to impose additional obligations on ISPs.

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