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A leading government official has urged broadband providers BT and TalkTalk to end their active opposition to the Digital Economy Act (DEA).

Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Communications, called on the firms to accept defeat in their attempts to see the anti-filesharing legislation thrown off the statute books, reports

Last year, the broadband providers brought a joint judicial review against the DEA, which imposes a duty on broadband providers to warn and eventually disconnect customers who repeatedly breach the copyright of content owners.

However, the High Court recently ruled that the legislation – passed in the dying days of the Labour government in April 2010 – was compatible with EU law and had been subject to sufficient parliamentary scrutiny.

The Court of Appeal has since refused to review the decision to side with the government, leading to suggestions that BT, TalkTalk or both broadband providers may take the matter to the European Courts.

Whether or not the broadband providers continue with their fight against the legislation remains to be seen, but Mr Vaizey hopes a line can be drawn under the matter.

Speaking at the Intellect 2011 Conference, he described the attitude of the two broadband providers as being "quite odd".

"BT has spent so much time litigating against an act of parliament and fallen at every hurdle, which is a great endorsement of the work officials did in putting the act together," Mr Vaizey stated.

He said the DEA's anti-filesharing measures had been included with good reason, and would be enforced by the government and communications regulator Ofcom.

"There are prominent web sites that stream live football or sell movies without permission from rights holders, and we should look at ways of stopping them," he stated.

The Minister did accept however that rights holders would have to look at new ways of monetising their products and services, in light of the growing online economy.

"No-one is saying business models don't have to change, but that doesn't mean you sit back and let people rip off other people's content," Mr Vaizey added.

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