Digital Economy Act not fit for Purpose?
Judge Birss QC has decided that you cannot attach an individual to an IP address. This is nothing new, as most torrent software actually adds fake IP addresses into the lists anyway, so the issue of using an IP address to prosecute someone for illegal file sharing has been fraught for quite some time.
What this article misses is the meaning behind the Digital Economy Act. The act has 3 definitions of responsibility for any internet connection – the receiver (i.e. the computer downloading the infringing article) the owner of the internet connection – (i.e. the person who pays for the service) and the ISP – the actual company who provide the service. This means that the IP address can be linked to both the ISP and the owner, who could both be liable even without this ruling.
The article is actually a little misleading. It refers to these problems with reference to the DEA, while citing existing copyright law. It should really mention that Ofcom have only just started trying to decide what on earth the DEA actually means, and until that process is complete we really don’t know what the legal bearing will be.