BT and Talk Talk lose appeal against controversial file-sharing legislation

Digital Britain

Internet service providers (ISPs) BT and Talk Talk have failed in their attempt to overturn controversial legislation to tackle copyright infringement online.

Both companies had argued that the UK's Digital Economy Act was incompatible with EU law.

Under the terms of the Act, ISPs will have to send warning letters to those who allegedly illegally download files, with threats to cut them off if they don't desist.

The firms' lawyers argued that such measures could be an invasion of people's privacy lead to higher costs for them and their customers.

In a statement, Talk Talk said it was now "considering our options".

"We're disappointed that our appeal was unsuccessful though we welcome the additional legal clarity that has been provided for all parties," the company said.

"Though we have lost this appeal, we will continue fighting to defend our customers' rights against this ill-judged legislation."

A spokesman for BT told the BBC: "We have been seeking clarification from the courts that the DEA is consistent with European law, and legally robust in the UK, so that everyone can be confident in how it is implemented.

"Now that the court has made its decision, we will look at the judgement carefully to understand its implications and consider our next steps."

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.