Two Internet Service Providers Lose Challenge To Anti-Piracy Laws

LONDON (AP) — Two British Internet service providers have lost a legal bid to derail legislation aimed at combating online piracy.

BT and TalkTalk had argued the Digital Economy Act would hurt consumers' privacy and free speech rights — and cost too much to implement.

High Court judge Kenneth Parker dismissed the claims Wednesday, though he did reduce some of the costs for providers associated with the law.

The government and pro-copyright groups welcomed the ruling, saying the legislation would help stamp out piracy.

The act gives authorities greater power to clamp down on illegal file-sharers. The entertainment industry supports it, but critics say it could lead to websites being blocked and users being unfairly cut off.

The bill was passed last year and is in the process of becoming law.