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UK rules out cutting off Internet users

26/01/2009

From The Times an interesting article on the apparent dropping proposed legislation in the UK to force ISPs to cut-off users alleged to have breached copyrights.

Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, said last year that the Government had “serious legislative intent” to compel internet companies to cut off customers who ignore warnings not to pirate material.

However, in an interview with The Times, David Lammy, the Intellectual Property Minister, said that the Government had ruled out legislating to force ISPs to disconnect such users.

Speaking ahead of the publication of a report on the future of Britain’s digital industries, Mr Lammy said that there were very complex legal issues wrapped up in enforced disconnection. He added: “I’m not sure it’s actually going to be possible.”

This is in direct contrast to legislation due to come into force in NZ shortly.

So what forced NZ down this path? Why is the UK backtracking?

British Telecom said: “We’re still hopeful that an amicable solution, without the need for legislation, can be reached. It doesn’t make sense to try to get people online and at the same time scare them away.”

Quite. Why spend money on broadband infrastructure and then take the legal approach taken here?

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