UK Tells ISPs To Get Tough On Piracy

    February 22, 2008

Internet service providers in the UK must take tougher measures to prevent illegal downloading or face legal sanctions the government has warned.

Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, told Internet service providers he would introduce legislation in April of next year if they did not voluntarily take action to reduce online piracy.

Officials from the recording industry, who point to piracy as a reason for declining sales, support such legislation. "ISPs are in a unique position to make a difference and in doing so to reverse a culture of creation-without-reward that has proved so damaging to the whole music community over the last few years," said John Kennedy, head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

While the film and music industry strongly support measures to crackdown on piracy ISPs says it is unmanageable and impractical.

Patrick Charnley, an attorney at the law firm Eversheds said enforcing a piracy policy would be challenging to ISPs. He told the Telegraph, "If an ISP has to monitor exactly what each user is doing on sites normally known for their illegal content, not only may this be an unacceptably onerous task, but it may also land the ISPs on the wrong side of privacy law."

"Further, a line will have to be drawn between the serial downloader and the casual infrequent illegal downloader. If the latter is targeted and denied access to the Internet there will be uproar."