Government Toughens up on Illegal Downloaders
People in the UK who go online and illegally download music may have their internet access cut under plans being considered by the government.
It is estimated that around six million people in the UK download music illegally, and the proposal is part of the Government’s plans to crack down on this behaviour.
Under the proposal, legislation could be brought in by April 2009 which would see internet service providers (ISPs) under pressure to take steps to stop illegal downloading. They could face prosecution if they do not attempt to curb this activity.
‘Technology that allows internet providers to monitor what content is being downloaded is becoming more effective’ said James Bates, media director at consultants Deloitte. The proposal would also require the details of customers suspected of making illegal downloads made available to the courts.
John Kennedy of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said: ‘ISPs are in a unique position to make a difference and in doing so to reverse a culture of creation-without-reward that has proved so damaging to the whole music community over the last few years.’
However, a spokesperson for the ISPs Association said that tailoring appropriate legislation would be extremely difficult. ‘Any scheme has got to be legal, workable and economically sustainable’, he explained.
Published: 27 February 2008