UK filesharing law ‘unworkable’

The UK government’s plan to fight online piracy is doomed to fail, according to expertsAny move by the government to introduce legislation that forces the UK’s broadband providers to police the internet by clamping down on illegal sharing of copyrighted music and movies would be technologically unworkable and create a legal minefield, experts have warned.In a wide ranging review of the UK’s £60bn creative industry, culture secretary Andy Burnham this week called on internet service providers (ISPs) to come up with a workable plan to stop music and movie piracy, or the government will bring in its own laws next year.The industry’s trade body, the ISPA, has spent months in discussions with music and movie companies about ways of preventing illegal filesharing, but buoyed by recent success in France, the major record labels and Hollywood studios have lobbied the government hard for faster action. ISPs must not be turned into police – editorial
For the average teenager, about the only thing worse than losing a supply of free, pirated music from the internet would be losing access to the internet altogether. That may happen under plans in France, and now in the UK, to make internet service providers responsible for stopping users who illegally download copyright material. But sanctions against users should only be allowed after legal due process.The music industry is in pain: illegal downloads are devastating its profits. The film industry fears it will be next. Both have struggled to enforce copyrights on the internet, not least because of file sharing protocols such as BitTorrent, through which users can download a song or film directly from the computer of another user, who may have a legal copy. It can be hard to even find somebody to sue.

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