The UK government has been laying out some of the ways it intends to pursue persistent net pirates.

Posted in copyright, Piracy, social media, technology, web 2.0 by coda on October 29, 2009

The Business Secretary said that new laws in isolation would not be enough to tackle the problem, which costs the creative industries millions of pounds each
He called on ISPs and the creative industries to work with Government to ensure a package is put in place which balances education, enforcement and new
business models to discourage unlawful downloading.
Speaking today at the C&binet creative industries conference, Lord Mandelson confirmed proposals set out in the recent consultation on unlawful file-sharing
would form the basis of measures in the Digital Economy Bill.
The Government expects that warning notifications, followed up with targeted legal action by rights holders, should be the only enforcement action required to
significantly reduce the level of unlawful file-sharing. However the Government would have reserve powers to issue an order requiring ISPs to invoke technica
measures. Account suspension will be an option available to apply at the last resort for the most serious infringers.
Highlighting the scale of the problem, Lord Mandelson referred to the music industry’s assessment that said only one in every 20 tracks downloaded in the UK
downloaded lawfully.  
Lord Mandelson said:
“It’s clear that whilst unlawful file-sharing excites a strong response from all sides, it is not a victimless act. It is a genuine threat to our creative industries.  
“The creative sector has faced challenges to protected formats before. But the threat faced today from online infringement, particularly unlawful file-sharing, i
different scale altogether. We cannot sit back and do nothing.  
“We will put in place a fair, thorough process, involving clear warnings to people suspected of unlawful file-sharing, with technical measures such as account
suspension only used as a very last resort.  
“Only persistent rule breakers would be affected – and there would be an independent, clear and easy appeals process to ensure that the correct infringer is
He added that educating consumers in the value of intellectual property rights would help to bring about changes in behaviour – alongside innovation and ne
business models enabling consumers to download content at competitive prices.  
Lord Mandelson said:
“A ‘legislate and enforce’ approach to beating piracy can only ever be part of the solution. The best long-term solution has to be a market in which those who
music and film, for example, can find a deal that makes acting unlawfully an unnecessary risk.”
In other areas, Lord Mandelson said there was a case for copyright laws to be modernised to reflect reasonable consumer behaviour which did not damage t
sustainability of the creative industries.
This would mean that, for example, someone who has bought a CD would be able to copy it to their iPod or share it with family members without acting
unlawfully.  Such activity is not lawful under the current framework. 
He announced © The Way Ahead – the outcome of a review of copyright in the UK with recommendations to simplify complicated copyright laws across Europ
and beyond, allowing for greater access and increased freedoms.
The review was led by David Lammy, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property. 
David Lammy said:
“I want people to have the freedom to enjoy music, books and film in creative ways, without fear of breaking the law.
“This is not an excuse to infringe copyright through unlawful file-sharing, but is about being able to do more with legally obtained content, such as remixing m
and mashing-up content to create grime and hip-hop tracks.
“I don’t want to see a regime based on arbitrary rules, but a system that recognises how consumers behave at a time when we rely increasingly on technology
our everyday lives.”

Interesting Comment:

Dear Lord Mandelson

Your simplistic and frankly bewildering view of the Internet not withstanding.. Before you make yourself and the government judge, jury and executioner in this matter please consider the following:

1)What actually constitutes “copyrighted infringed material”. Without this defined in the context of non-commerial content sharing you cannot hope to find legal argument to infringe on peoples rights in this way.

2)Are you suggesting that the way that traffic is monitored on the internet will be changed? ISP’s monitor traffic levels, and on the whole do not monitor what data is being channeled. What implications on personal privacy will this have? If I’m sharing copyrighted and NON copyrighted material at the same time will my rights to privacy be protected or will it be open season for content providers for all of my internet habits?

3) How do you intend to suspend internet access without trail? Will there be legal avenues that allow people to present evidence to a judge? and what happened to concept on innocent until proven guilty?

4) What will be the legal standard for identifying copyrighted material being shared? will you be going on file name alone, or will ofcomm be downloading the files and watching them to prove their copyrighted status? and why release any details to content providers when you have clearly taken upon yourself to police this matter on their behalf? Aren’t you just opening up UK citizens to American lead law suits that can bankrupt people over long the term? Don’t you want people to support these plans and see them as balanced? Protect your citizens and create a law that regulated this in the spirit of BRITISH law.

and finally….please please please do not deamonised the words “file sharing” or “P2P”. These are legal and useful technologies that are used around the world for all manner of things, be specific and treat your public with the respect it deserves.

Answer 1 or 2 of these questions to a satisfactory level and I will buy a CD in your honour, maybe even one of those £14.99 ones. Answer them all and I might just stop file sharing! Nah, only kidding about that last one! You see the larger battle here the one of ideas between young and old, cultural differences and not legal ones.

By RM on 2009 10 28

I think you’re a little out of touch Peter… Nothing will stop people sharing media online, simple as that.

Instead of suspending the end user how about targeting websites, blogs and web hosts who blatantly breach copyright laws. One only has to visit Twitter and type ‘free download’ for a list of users and usually a link to a blog/website will be displayed. How about shutting those pages down? Will that be too much like hard work?

I download live recordings of different bands I like. Will this mean I will get cut off, even if the recordings are not officially released?. If the artist/record company do not release such a performance no one is losing any payment and I will always buy a physical release (prefably on vinyl) of the artist.

If the record companies embraced the internet early on instead of sticking their heads in the sand hoping it will go away, your rather deluded speeches wouldn’t be necessary. Get a grip chap!

Full transcript here.
See the BBC report here
The Way Ahead can be found here

See the Digital Britain Report
Q&A here

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