UK Won't Pull Plug on File Sharing

By Richard Menta 1/26/09

According to the Times, The UK government will not invoke three-stikes legislation that will disconnect file sharers from the Internnet. The proposed legislation was designed to punish repeat offenders by requiring ISPs to cut them off, but Intellectual Property Minister David Lammy cited the complex legal issues of enforced disconnection as a major hurdle.

Drafts of the law ran into difficulties as some suggested provisions fell out of favor. Such provisions included creating a rights agency that would tax ISPs to compensate the music industry for losses. Furthermore the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) found that there was no consensus between ISPs and the record industry as to the best way to deal with the millions of British citizens who share music.

ISPs feel that better awareness and new business models will best solve the problem, not burdensome regulatory action. Minister Lammy also called for a more sensibly weighted approach to dealing with file traders. “We can't have a system where we're talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms. People can rent a room in an hotel and leave with a bar of soap - there's a big difference between leaving with a bar of soap and leaving with the television.”

Lammy also added that there was a big difference between organised counterfeiting gangs and “younger people not quite buying into the system” and said the government must be cautious when applying the "heavy hand of legislation”.

The record labels expressed their strong disappointment, though the ISPs said they were still open to non-legislative solutions from the industry to deal with chronic file sharing.

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Other MP3 stories:
MP3 and the Family Treasure
File Sharing and the Free Public Library


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