Reaction: Ofcom DEA code will lead to wrongful court cases

Responding to the consultations on costs and the Ofcom code, covering accusations, warnings and Appeals, Jim Killock said:

“Digital revenues are going up, the music and film industry are moving in the right direction, yet this cumbersome policy is still lumbering forward.

“Ofcom are being asked to put lipstick on a pig with this code.

“The appeals are a joke. The Government has decided that ‘I didn’t do it’ is not a defence. Some people will almost certainly end up in court having done nothing wrong.”

Key points of the code

* Consumers will have to pay £20 to appeal
* There is no fixed standard of evidence, although Ofcom will examine the methodologies
* Grounds for appeal have been narrowed, and only include matters of factual accuracy of the accusation
* An accusation may relate to anyone using a connection, not just the person receiving a letter
* Commercial Wifi operators have been excluded, but libraries, hotels and bars sharing broadband connections over Wifi will have to refute accusations relating to their customers
* In court, only accusations relating to the person accused would be relevant. Accusations relating to others (householders, customers etc) would not be relevant.