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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UK Crackdown on P2P File Sharing

OK, so we are all too familiar with the Pirates of the Indian Ocean and their increasing attacks on container ships and now personal yachts. The British government, in particular Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, is seeking to shut down Internet Piracy in the form of illegal downloads.

Peter Mandelson recently announced his plan to crack down on people who persistently download illegal content, stating they will be cut off from the net if they continue downloading content.

This recent addition to government policy followed months of speculation on the topic of a crack down on peer-to-peer downloading in the UK. The new regulation means persistent peer-to-peer P2P users will be sent two warning letters before facing disconnection from their ISP.

This new regulation is being challenged by ISP providers in the UK on the grounds that it is impractical. A reprasentative from ISP TalkTalk, an ISP firm in the UK said "What is being proposed is wrong in principle and won't work in practice," They further went on to say the UK Anti-piracy law is "ill-conceived" and they are prepared to challenge the Peer-to-peer downloading crackdown against online filesharing in the courts stating "In the event we are instructed to impose extra judicial technical measures we will challenge the instruction in the courts."

Peter Mendelson, however, said actual disconnections are going to be a "Last Resort. In his announcement Peter Mendelson said "I have no expectation of mass suspensions. People will receive two notifications and if it reaches the point they will have the opportunity to appeal,"

UK ISP's have argued it is not their job to police the Internet. Further going on to state they should not be responsible for the cost involved in policing the downloading practices of their customers. In response, Peter Mandelson said the costs of enforcing his anti-piracy crackdown on Peer-to-peer P2P file sharing would be "shared between ISPs and content providers".

The Internet Service Providers' Association feels the copywrite holders should cover all costs involved in enforcing the proposed UK Anti-piracy crackdown on P2P file sharing, this would also include reimbursement of ISPs for lost revenue and expenses.

The ISPA further went on to state "The unintended consequence of Lord Mandelson's plan will be to encourage more wi-fi and PC hi-jacking and expose more innocent people to being penalised."

Peter Mandelson further went on to say this proposed UK Anti-piracy crackdown on P2P file sharing would also result in a more relaxed copyright regime. Although the details of his plan would need to be hammered out at European level, it would take account of the use of copyright material "at home and between friends", he said. 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.

In a post on their blog, The Pirate Bay, an online P2P Filesharing source and frequent defender of Filesharing rights said:

We have, ourselves, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our Internets, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

Even though large parts of Internets and many old and famous trackers have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Ifpi and all the odious apparatus of MPAA rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the ef-nets and darknets, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Internets, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the, we shall fight on the /. and on the digg, we shall fight in the courts; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, the Internets or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Anon Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in Cerf's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

In France the government has just approved a so-called three strikes policy.

Under the French Anti-piracy crackdown on P2P file sharing, those identified as illegally downloading content would initially be sent warning letters and, if they failed to comply, could be removed from the network for up to a year.

What do you think? Is this just another pile of government crap being forced down the throat of struggling ISP's? or do you think this is a much needed regulation?

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