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Ofcom May Regulate P2P, Filesharers Says Culture Minister

The UK Culture Secretary Andy Burnham announced that the government is devising strategies to implement “technical measures” to clamp down on the most persistent illegal files sharers over the web.

The UK government's measures to address the issue of illicit file sharing are yet to be disclosed in the Digital Britain report which is scheduled to be published later this month.

Addressing the Music Week's Making Online Music Pay conference, Burnham asserted that any such measure was likely to include a requirement of necessitating ISPs to inform subscribers caught sharing digital files illicitly.

He further said that sending simple notification mightn't be the solution that would appeal to many and the government would reserve the right to apply technical measures against persistent illegal file sharers.

Quoting the significance of these technical measures in preventing file sharing, Burnham said, “Applying these measures will be a serious business, and not one we take lightly, but it is right that they are in place”.

However, the Culture Secretary didn't disclose anything about the probable measures, but ruled out the previously floated notion of “three strikes” strategy, according to which users would lose their internet connection if they continued downloading copyrighted digital content illegitimately.

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Our Comments

Let's see how they do it. Having to monitor P2P would not only be counterproductive but also exceedingly difficult to carry out bearing in mind that operators would need to put in place systems to "sniff data packets" and found out whether the content being shared is legal or not. More legal ways of obtaining unlimited music - Comes with Music and Spotify to name two - have appeared which would allow users to get their fix of music for next to nothing.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.