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The Digital Economy Act 2017 has arrived!

cybercrimeThis very wide ranging (and much criticised) statute has finally been enacted. Amongst its many topics include; access to online pornography, government data sharing and a massive increase in the maximum sentences for Copyright Infringement Offences.

The latter has been of particular concern to FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), who have witnessed the popularity of KODI boxes, which are often used to download pirated films, movies, sporting events and box sets. 

Their view was found support in a European Court of Justice decision which recently held that Filmspeler, a website claiming to sell 'legal pre-configured IPTV devices' has in the Courts view, been in fact illegally downloading copyrighted protected material. FACT have several prosecutions concerning illegal streaming in the pipeline, focusing upon suppliers, retailers and importers. The 2017 act has now increased custodial sentences for these offences to a maximum of 10 years.

FACT have also been part of the long running Operation Creative, a joint operation with City of London Intellectual Property Act whose objective is to disrupt illegal streaming websites. The authorities are also focused upon the marked increase in illegal activity of organised criminal groups working in this area.

Online age verification in order to gain access to certain websites (primarily pornographic websites) also falls within the legislation. This development is as a result of pressure groups like the NSPCC intent upon protecting young people from the worst that these sites can offer.

One of the major concerns is that it is highly unlikely that adults will be willing to enter identifying data in order to access these sites and will resort to the 'dark web' in order access extreme porngraphy, for example.

The Act also includes the very wide and powerful provision, that regulators will be able to act against any site making prohibited material available on the internet to persons in the U.K. The British Board of Film Classification will have responsibility for this role, and will effectively become the Internet Censor.


If you are facing investigation or proceedings (civil or criminal) as a result of these issues, you will need genuinely experienced lawyers to defend you and or/your company. We have been successfully dealing with FACT prosecutions and the complete remit of cyber and internet offences for many years.

Please contact us on 02073872032 or use our online enquiry facility at

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