Digital Act Virtually In Long Grass

Britain’s Digital Economy Act took another kick in the direction of the long grass when the government’s culture select committee postponed its inquiry into the act because it’s already subject to a legal review.

There seems little point in the select committee investigating the effectiveness of the act and how it’s impacted the rights of ISPs and their customers when BT and TalkTalk have already won the right to test its legality.

Until there is clarity about the legality of the act, any evidence taken by the committee would be suspect and clouded by legal questions.

Although members of the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition supported the Digital Economy Bill, which became law during the last days of the old Labour government, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said at the time the act “badly needs to be repealed and the issues revisited.”

Since then, the law has caused a High Court judge to complain that he’s running out of patience with the way UK anti-piracy laws are being enforced.

As the select committee won’t get a date for when it can start examining the evidence until after the judicial review, and only then if the law is found to have a sound legal foundation, it’s decided to collect even more. The deadline for interested parties to make written submissions has been extended from Jan. 5 until March 23.