The Court of Appeal has dismissed BT's and TalkTalk's challenge to the enforceability of obligations imposed on ISPs under the Digital Economy Act 2010 relating to unlawful file-sharing by subscribers and has confirmed that such obligations comply with EU law.
Larger ISPs will thus be required to take a role in policing the rights of copyright owners with respect to infringements committed by their customers and will be required, in some instances, to bear a proportion of the costs. This means larger ISPs will now have to undertake the relevant investment and expenditure to ensure compliance with file sharing regulations. Concerns over protecting customers' privacy and maintaining customer relationships may still remain for some ISPs and this is something they will hope to address with their investment, systems and procedures. Customers should check ISPs’ terms and conditions to see what use may be made of their personal data by the ISPs.