Costs of intellectual property protection could lead to rising costs for everyone

Digital Economy Act could push up broadband prices

Government plans for meeting the costs of tackling online piracy have drawn criticism, with some detractors saying that the scheme will lead to higher broadband costs for consumers and businesses.

According to the Telegraph, the minister for communications, Ed Vaizey, stated that the cost of sending out warning letters and the subsequent appeal process would be met by rights holders and internet service providers, with the costs to be distributed by 75 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

“Protecting our valuable creative industries, which have already suffered significant losses as a result of people sharing digital content without paying for it, is at the heart of these measures,” said Vaizey.

However, the plans have drawn criticism from ISPs and internet rights groups who say that the scheme will ultimately lead to higher broadband prices for the consumer.

“Consumers should not be picking up the tab for the enforcement of copyright laws that will benefit the music industry to the tune of millions of pounds,” Robert Hammond, head of post and digital communications at Consumer Focus told the Telegraph.

“The previous government admitted any extra cost on internet service providers may push up the cost of broadband, making it unaffordable for thousands of vulnerable consumers who need internet access to get vital services and cheaper deals.”

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