Ofcom will review sections of the Digital Economy Act to see if they are workable following public comments submitted in the Your Freedom exercise.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked Ofcom to assess whether the Act’s reserve powers to enable courts to block websites dedicated to copyright infringement could work.
The site-blocking measures need secondary legislation before they can be introduced and the review will inform the Government’s decision on the next steps to take.
Hunt said: The Digital Economy Act seeks to protect our creative economy from online copyright infringement, which industry estimates costs them £400 million a year. I have no problem with the principle of blocking access to websites used exclusively for facilitating illegal downloading of content. But it is not clear whether the site blocking provisions in the Act could work in practice so I have asked Ofcom to address this question. Before we consider introducing site-blocking we need to know whether these measures are possible.
The review will look at areas such as whether it is possible for internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the sites, how robust such a block could be and whether specific parts of a website can be blocked effectively.