UK Government Pondering Over Anti File-Sharing Legislation

The Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) has announced a three-month consultation period on legislative options to address illicit P2P file-sharing (ed: what about direct links that are available on many websites whose name end with upload or share).

Members of the public have until the 30th of October to voice their views about the possibility of having a regulatory framework to tackle the exchange of unlawful copies of copyrighted material online.

The government is expected to implement the legislation by April 2009.

Last week, six of UK's top ISPs announced that they would be implementing anti piracy solutions on behalf of the music industry as part of a voluntary agreement in a memorandum of understanding.

In 2007, an estimated 6.5 million UK internet users indulged in online music piracy according to research done by Jupiter Research on behalf of the BPI.

Amongst the suggestions by the BERR are proposals for appropriate sanctions against those who consistently flout piracy laws and the possibility to make it cheaper and quicker to bring them to justice.

The BPI has been calling upon the Internet Service Providers' Association to implement a three-strike penalty which has been dismissed until now as it would not only cost ISPs precious members but also prove to be costly and intrusive.

You can find more about the consultation here.