U.K. ISPs Talk Talk and BT have been granted a temporary victory in their legal challenge against the Digital Economy Act, following a High Court ruling in London.

As two of the most vocal critics of the U.K. Digital Economy Act, Talk Talk and BT have consistently argued that legislation was "rushed through parliament" when the bill was made law earlier in May this year. Of particular grievance to the ISPs is the proposed legal requirement for them to issue warning letters and potentially suspend access to broadband subscribers accused of illegal file sharing.

Now a High Court judge has recognized the ISPs' complaint and ordered a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act to place early next year.

In a statement, Andrew Heaney, director of strategy and regulation at TalkTalk, said he was "very pleased" with the High Court's verdict.

"The act was rushed through parliament in the 'wash-up' with only 6% of MPs attending the brief debate and has very serious flaws," said Heaney, adding, "The provisions to try and reduce illegal file-sharing are unfair, won't work and will potentially result in millions of innocent customers who have broken no law suffering and having their privacy invaded."

In response, U.K. trade body BPI issued a statement damning the ISPs' "misconceived" legal challenge.

"Parliament enacted the Digital Economy Act to encourage innovation on the Internet and to protect jobs in the creative industries," said a statement released by the BPI.

"It's disappointing that a couple of ISPs are trying to frustrate this and resist any action being taken to reduce illegal file sharing on their networks."

"All that the court has done today is to allow BT and Talk Talk's legal challenge to go to a full hearing. We continue to believe that their case is misconceived and will fail," the statement went on to say.

As previously reported, media regulator Ofcom has been charged with drawing up plans of how the Digital Economy Act will be enforced. In September this year, governmental body the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills published its plans for a notification system -- overseen by Ofcom -- whereby warning letters would be issued to those suspected of illegal file sharing. Costs would be shared between rights holders (labels and publishers) and ISPs with a respective 75%/25% split. (Billboard.biz, Sept. 14).

Following today's decision, a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act is expected to take place in February next year.