UK copyright legislation will cost ISPs up to $830m

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UK copyright legislation will cost ISPs up to $830m

Plans to force ISPs to combat copyright abuse.

UK Government plans to force ISPs to crackdown on copyright abuse will cost the industry between £250 million ($415 million) and £500 million ($830 million) according to an estimate published by the Department for Business.

But the department's impact assessments for the Digital Economy Bill, which has passed the Lords and is awaiting debate in the Commons, claim this should be set against a potential £1,700 million ($2,832 million) benefit to rights holders.

The assessments were published on Tuesday ahead of further progress on the legislation, which may be caught up in the rush to salvage as much as possible of the government's outstanding legislation before the general election expected on May 6.

The department said the cost of complying with the legislation facing ISPs include the cost of notifying infringers, ISPs' capital costs, the cost of setting up and running a call centre and annual capital and operating costs for mobile phone operators.

It said there were also unquantified broadband costs for consumers.

The assessments warned some low income or low value digital product consumers would stop consuming digital content altogether rather than purchase.

And there would be costs to rights holders of identifying infringing IP addresses and taking infringers to court.

Benefits to consumers would include "ensuring that investment in high quality and diverse creative content is at appropriate levels".

A report presented to the Commons said file sharing of audio, video, data, or anything in digital format between users on a computer network "has increased significantly in the last few years" .

It said: "This has served to reduce the incentive for the creative industries to invest in the development, production and distribution of new innovative content."

The intention of the legislation, the department said, is to make it easier for rights holders to bring targeted civil actions against suspect copyright infringers and place obligations on ISPs when informed by rights holders to notify subscribers of their unlawful behaviour and to maintain records of the most frequent offenders to allow rights holders to take targeted legal action.

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