In the meantime, Ofcom suspends work on the “initial obligations code” which would detail how the mass notification system for warning and sanctioning suspected file-sharers is supposed function until the matter is sorted out.
The judicial review of the UK’s controversial Digital Economy Act may have wrapped up a few days ago, but a decision isn’t likely to be made for “some time,” perhaps months.
“Judgment will be handed down as soon as is reasonably practicable, but given the complexity of the arguments presented it is likely that this will be some time,” says Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group (ORG).
Peter Bradwell, also of the ORG, says he’s heard credible speculation that a decision is not likely to be handed down for at least six to eight weeks.
UK ISPs Talk Talk and BT first asked for the judicial review last July. They believe the Act was passed into law without going through the correct parliamentary procedures, that it was rushed through Parliament in the ”wash up” period, and that this haste meant it became law without being properly scrutinized and without its impact being properly assessed. The High Court agreed to hear the case late last year, and the review finally began last Wednesday.
MP Eric Joyce said that the DEA won’t be implemented until spring 2012 at the earliest, and that the kinks won’t be worked out for several years, but now added to the mix is the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) decision to ask Ofcom to delay development of an “initial obligations code” for an undetermined amount of time.
“There was a deadline for it to be brought into effect of 31 March,” a DCMS spokesperson told PC Pro. “Now obviously that deadline isn’t going to be met, so we will have to extend that deadline.” It has yet to officially asks Ofcom to do so.
The spokesperson doesn’t say whether or not the delay will persist until after the judicial review is completed, but in likelihood it will be. It has to. Any code it devises will ultimately have to be readjusted to suit whatever decision is made by the High Court.