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After section 124F of the Communications Act 2003 insert—
(1)The Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to—
(a)assess whether one or more technical obligations should be imposed on internet service providers;
(b)take steps to prepare for the obligations;
(c)provide a report on the assessment or steps to the Secretary of State.
(2)A “technical obligation”, in relation to an internet service provider, is an obligation for the provider to take a technical measure against some or all relevant subscribers to its service for the purpose of preventing or reducing infringement of copyright by means of the internet.
(3)A “technical measure” is a measure that—
(a)limits the speed or other capacity of the service provided to a subscriber;
(b)prevents a subscriber from using the service to gain access to particular material, or limits such use;
(c)suspends the service provided to a subscriber; or
(d)limits the service provided to a subscriber in another way.
(4)A subscriber to an internet access service is “relevant” if the subscriber is a relevant subscriber, within the meaning of section 124B(3), in relation to the provider of the service and one or more copyright owners.
(5)The assessment and steps that the Secretary of State may direct OFCOM to carry out or take under subsection (1) include, in particular—
(a)consultation of copyright owners, internet service providers, subscribers or any other person;
(b)an assessment of the likely efficacy of a technical measure in relation to a particular type of internet access service; and
(c)steps to prepare a proposed technical obligations code.
(6)Internet service providers and copyright owners must give OFCOM any assistance that OFCOM reasonably require for the purposes of complying with any direction under this section.
(7)The Secretary of State must lay before Parliament any direction under this section.
(8)OFCOM must publish every report under this section—
(a)as soon as practicable after they send it to the Secretary of State, and
(b)in such manner as they consider appropriate for bringing it to the attention of persons who, in their opinion, are likely to have an interest in it.
(9)OFCOM may exclude information from a report when it is published under subsection (8) if they consider that it is information that they could refuse to disclose in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.”
Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.
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