A judge will now scrutinise whether the Act is legal and justifiable, and could make wide-ranging recommendations [If I were a judge, that's the last thing I'd do unless I could divorce any suggestions entirely from the realm of legislative policy, which is where most of the controversy lives]. BT and TalkTalk argued that the legislation had been "rushed through parliament" before the election [this is beyond doubt: the Bill was subject to a dramatic wash-up process: see John's post here].
Internet service providers (ISPs) are unhappy with the part of the Act that requires them to take action against suspected illegal file-sharers. Depending on the judge's ruling, the government may be forced to change or even scrap the legislation.
... During the parliamentary debate about the Digital Economy Bill, held in the final days before the parliament was dissolved before May's general election, some MPs [but not very many -- only 6% of the country's elected representatives turned up for it] complained that it needed more debate because of its complex nature.
... A judge will conduct a full review in February, considering whether the parts of the Act that deal with illegal file-sharing are in breach of the E-Commerce Directive, which rules that ISPs cannot be held liable for traffic on their networks. The Act will also be measured against EU privacy and technical standards legislation.Early responses can be gleaned from Which?, The Guardian, Information Age and The Telegraph
... Ofcom has been working on a final code of practice [see eg Jeremy's post here] for how the process of monitoring file-sharing will work in the UK. It has the power to slow down the net connections of persistent pirates or even cut them off completely, although such measures would not come into force until at least 2012.
A caveat added at the last minute stipulated that new legislation and several rounds of consultation would be required before such a course of action was taken. A spokeswoman for the regulator said it was "business as usual" as far as the code of practice was concerned.
The regulator is expected to publish its final code later this week ..."