TalkTalk and BT will head to the High Court on 23 March in the hope of overturning the Digital Economy Act (DEA) after months of heated debate between internet service providers, rights holders and the government.
The Act was passed in the wash-ups ahead of the General Election last April, but was subsequently challenged by the two firms over several issues including a belief that it is incompatible with wider EU law.
This challenge was upheld in November and is now subject to a judicial review that will run from 23 to 25 March.
TalkTalk executive director Andrew Heaney told V3.co.uk on Tuesday that he hopes to see the Act thrown out so that the industry can start again with a more measured debate on any possible future legislation and ways of combating file sharing.
"The DEA is disproportionate, will cost hundreds of millions of pounds to implement and there's nothing we've seen that dissuades us from this view," he said.
"If it's thrown out then we can then sit down and talk about what we should do [to stop illegal file sharing]. We've always said we're happy to do this and will even send letters to people as long as they don't threaten disconnection or legal action."
Heaney added that the DEA will be out of date by the time it is implemented, as it mainly targets file sharing over peer-to-peer networks, a traffic source for piracy that has dropped by a third in recent months.
The timing of the hearing comes after ACS-Law tried to drop a case it had taken to court after 27 alleged file sharers challenged the letters they had received.
Heaney said that the case will not have a direct impact on the hearing but added weight to the belief that the use of an internet connection as evidence of file sharing has no strong legal precedent and thereby further undermines the DEA.
"The information ACS-Law had was not enough for a judge so it won't be good enough to disconnect people. It shows courts do not think evidence of a connection means an account holder is guilty of an infringement," he said.
BT and TalkTalk will use legal representatives to outline their case to the judge, while the Open Rights Group, Consumer Focus and privacy advocates Article 19 will also make arguments outlining their belief that the DEA should be thrown out.
The government has called on several rights holders, notably the BPI, to intervene on its behalf, as both sides look to secure victory in this long-running debate.
Heaney explained that he will not give any evidence as a witness directly, but will be present in court to help the legal team if questions from the judge arise that need further information.
There is no set time limit for the judge to make a decision, Heaney added, explaining that it could be anywhere from two weeks to two months before anything is forthcoming.
V3.co.uk contacted BT for any information but the company declined to comment at this time.
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