Mandelson promises to cut-off illegal file sharers

Labour's Lord Peter Mandelson, the man with more titles to his name than strands of hair on his head (except 'Prime Minister', but we're sure that's coming too), appears to have ignored the conclusions of Lord Carter's recent Digital Britain report (here) by promising to get even tougher with illegal broadband downloader's.

The Daily Mail newspaper reports that Mandy's plan involves disconnecting those suspected of piracy from their broadband ISP and imposing fines of up to £50,000. Parents could also face strong punishment even if it is the fault of their children and not them.

The Daily Mail said:

The controversial new laws, set to be announced in a 'Digital Britain' bill to be published next month, would target broadband users who persistently download music and films for nothing.

But former digital engagement minister Tom Watson is leading a campaign against the legislation, which is due to form a key plank of this autumn's Queen's Speech.

Writing in the Independent on Sunday, Mr Watson called for people who upload illegal content should be targeted, rather than downloaders.

It's interesting that the rather sudden move should come only days after Mandelson had dinner with David Geffen, a Hollywood critic of illegal file sharing, at the Rothschild family villa in Corfu (Greek Island). Sounds like a nice way to make policy, albeit more in keeping with dictatorships than democracy, but we suppose those two D's are easily confused.. by some.

Regular readers will recall that the controversial disconnection idea was ruled out of the final Digital Britain report in favour of warnings and technical measures (e.g. speed or website access restrictions etc.). That followed several years of unproductive wrangling between consumer groups, ISPs and Rights Holders.

Quite how he intends to impose something based on a report that has already ruled it out we do not know, but then politicians always were crafty bas..

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