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Government to give UK ISPs anti-piracy deadline

Government to give UK ISPs anti-piracy deadline

The government is today expected to set a deadline of April 2009 for UK ISPs to either adopt firm measures to prevent online piracy on their networks or face legal sanctions.

It follows last weeks leak of a green paper (here) that appeared to support the introduction of a "three-strikes" system for warning and ultimately banning illegal downloader’s from their ISP.

Andy Burnham, culture secretary, told the Financial Times on Thursday that the deadline was a “clear signal” of the government’s determination to tackle rampant piracy, which the music and film industries blame for the slump in CD and DVD sales.

“Let me make it absolutely clear: this is a change of tone from the government,” Mr Burnham said. “It’s definitely serious legislative intent.”

Meanwhile ISPs continue to raise concerns about the technical difficulties, legal (online privacy) and cost implications of introducing such a system. It can be very difficult to 100% identify illegal downloading, especially when a customers data traffic has been encrypted or the connection is part of a larger shared business environment.

Sadly the government’s strategy paper is unlikely to address these concerns directly, effectively leaving it as a problem for ISPs to solve before the deadline. Like it or not ISPs will now be forced to find a solution to the problem or adopt the "three-strikes" system, we suspect this pressure is designed to encourage the latter.


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