London’s Court of Appeal has told BT and TalkTalk — Britain’s two biggest Internet providers — they must abide the provisions of the Digital Economy Act (DEA), the government’s controversial legislation aimed at curbing online piracy.

The law, which was snuck through parliament shortly before the 2010 election, introduces new measures and an ex-judicial process for tracking down and punishing those believed to be illegal file sharers. That includes a three-strike system that could see persistent offenders lose their connections or be sued. BT and TalkTalk had spent two years arguing that the proposals were not compatible with European law, but that didn’t chime with three top judges who made their ruling that the law was legal and enforceable on Tuesday.

So what next?

In the wake of widespread protests against proposals such as SOPA and ACTA, there is chatter online that the law is out of sync…

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