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Digital Economy Act 2010

Topic 2: Online infringement of copyright

Section 10: Obligations to limit internet access

64.New section 124H of the 2003 Act is inserted by section 10 and gives the Secretary of State power to order ISPs to impose technical measures on internet access service subscribers meeting certain criteria. This power can only be used if the initial obligations code has been in force for at least 12 months, and OFCOM have assessed whether technical obligations should be imposed on ISPs.

65.A technical measure may only be applied against a “relevant subscriber”, that is a subscriber who has been linked to sufficient CIRs to make them eligible for inclusion in a copyright infringement list.

66.Proposals for orders under new section 124H are subject to a 60 day period of scrutiny and orders are subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament. Subsections (5) to (10) set out the procedure. In particular they require the laying before Parliament of a proposal in the form of a draft order, accompanied by a document that explains the proposal. There is then a period of 60 days during which the order may not be laid. When preparing the order the Secretary of State must have regard to any representations that have been made during that 60 day period, and to any recommendations of a committee of either House of Parliament charged with reporting on the draft order. When laying the order the Secretary of State must also lay a document that explains any changes made to the proposal that was laid at the start of the 60 day period.

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