The story appears on

Page A9

October 29, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Britain plans on illegal file sharing law

BRITAIN is set to push ahead with a controversial new law to clamp down on illegal file sharing that would start with a series of warning letters and could result in repeat offenders losing their Internet connection.

The proposals, which were set out by Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, have followed a high profile campaign from artists such as Lily Allen and James Blunt. They also follow France's move to ban illegal peer-to-peer sharers for up to a year.

They are likely to disappoint some of the artists and executives who have campaigned for the law, however, as the government does not plan to introduce the disconnection element of the law for at least a year, once the bill has passed.

Under the British proposals, the new law could be passed by April.

Rights holders such as music companies and Internet service providers would then work together for more than a year to send letters to those who are uploading illegal content.

The government hopes that the warning letters will prompt many to curb their activity.

But after that time, if the rate of illegal downloading has not significantly declined, the government could then introduce technical measures such as eventual suspension.

"The British government's view is that taking people's work without due payment is wrong and that, as an economy based on creativity, we cannot sit back and do nothing as this happens," he told a Cabinet creative industries conference.

"If we reach the point of suspension for an individual, they will be informed in advance - having previously received two notifications - and will have the opportunity to appeal.

"But the threat for persistent individuals is, and has to be, real, or no effective deterrent to breaking the law will be in place."

The debate over how to counter illegal file sharing has raged in Britain for the last 18 months, with rights holders and media groups calling on Internet service providers to intervene.

The government has released letters of support from media executives, such as Sony Music and Time Warner, music managers and artists, such as Elton John and Noel Gallagher. However, two of the largest ISPs, BT and Carphone Warehouse, have so far objected to their new role as policemen of the Web and they are likely to continue to object.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend