Government threatens UK ISP's with file sharing legislation

The government’s minister for intellectual property, Lord Triesman, has followed up on earlier reports regarding forthcoming proposals to curb online software piracy.

Triesman is threatening UK ISP's with new legislation unless they can agree a voluntary scheme with the music and film industries by the end of this summer.

Triesman has made such bold remarks before, albeit without a timescale. It's understood that the minister would seek to have any new powers announced during the next 'Queens Speech' towards the end of 2008:

The minister was speaking at the launch of the government consultation on new copyright exceptions following 2006's wide-ranging Gowers Review of intellectual property in the UK.

Triesman emphasised that the government speaks with one voice on illegal filesharing. "We're not prepared to see the kinds of damage that will be done to the creative economy," he said.

We asked one well-placed record industry insider whether he thought there would be a bargain by the end of summer. "What do you think?" was his rhetorical response.

The Register goes on to report that the UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) claims to be having "good meetings" with the industry, though they refused to put a timescale on any resolution.

Some quarters have already suggested suspending access to the Internet for those that engage in illegal file sharing, though a more cautious approach is likely to be preferred, at least initially.

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