In an interview with The Times, Intellectual Property Minister, David Lammy acknowledged that it will be highly unlikely that the current government will be seriously considering implementing a three-strike system to ban illegal file sharers from the web.
The IP Minister (ed: guess not everybody knew that one existed) conceded that he was not sure it was actually going to be possible, given that there are around 7 million British Internet users who share music, movie and software files illegally all year round.
He argued that there is a big difference between organised counterfeiting gangs and “younger people not quite buying into the system” adding that “We can't have a system where we're talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms. People can rent a room in an hotel and leave with a bar of soap - there's a big difference between leaving with a bar of soap and leaving with the television.”
Lammy's position currently clashes with the views of his fellow cabinet member, Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, who has already mention that the government has "serious legislative intent" to force Internet Service Providers to block users who stubbornly continue to download copyrighted songs.
Adopting a three strike system would also infringe on Lord Carter's proposal to institute Universal Broadband for the United Kingdom.
Such a scheme has been running on the other side of the channel with France leading the unpopular and controversial "Three-strike" model. Italy is also mulling plans to adopt a similar "stick" approach to solve the issue of illegal file sharing.
However, an alternative blanket tax on downloads could well be introduced if the government wishes to follow the footsteps of the Isle of Man.
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Movie and Software companies have been particularly silent on the subject with the British Phonographic Industry leading the charge against repeated offenders and file sharing in particular. Furthermore, bringing in a blanket law would almost certainly cause resentment and frustration amongst the 7 million or so internet users with the general elections in mind. Not a great campaign manifesto.