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Court Orders Necessary To Disconnect Filesharers Says Culture Minister

Owing to the widespread outcry over the government’s proposed plans to disconnect the users suspected of illegal file downloading, the culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has said that the government’s stance to deal with the illegal filesharers will be moderated.

Bradshaw told the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee that the government had no intent of disconnecting people “willy-nilly on the basis of an accusation”.

Under the new strategy, Bradshaw asserted that the right holders would have to obtain court orders before taking any action against the persistent offenders.

Earlier, business secretary Lord Mandelson noted that the ISPs would be compelled to provide the info, on users who used illicit sites, to film studios and music companies so that they could take the necessary action against the freeloaders.

In addition, Bradshaw also asserted that those targeted should be given a chance to appeal in a court against the decision.

Responding to the question about the rights of persistent offenders to appeal in a court of law, Bradshaw said: “The suspension to which you refer, which would be as a very last resort for serial and serious infringement... wouldn't just happen on the basis of an accusation”.

Our Comments

The move marks the softening stance the government adopted at the backdrop of a survey claiming that a majority of people wouldn’t vote for the political party that support stiff crack down measures against the filesharers. One can be sure that a systematic targeting of the tens of thousands of illegal downloaders would have been a disastrous move.

Related Links

Bradshaw: Courts must OK P2P disconnections

(ZDNet)

Government measures against illegal file-sharing to be watered down

(Guardian)

Government backs down on cutting off filesharers

(The Inquirer)

Bradshaw 'softens file-sharing measures'

(Digital Spy)

UK Gov to Require Court Order for Illegal ISP File Sharer Disconnection

(ISP Review)

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 ITProPortal.com 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.