Monday, April 12, 2010

UK Passes Anti-Piracy Act

The U.K. has pushed a bill called the Digital Economy Bill through one section of the British government this week that seems to be trying to get a hold on piracy on the Internet and stop it.

What this bill says is that those who are suspected of illegal downloading will be sent letters by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) notifying them to cease their actions. After a year, the regulators tracking this activity can decide if this letter impacted the file-sharing of the user or not. If it did, they can decide to take no further action. However, if it didn't, they can take technical measures that could lead to possible suspension of their use of the Internet. There are other aspects to the bill that include blocking all copyright-infringing Web sites, which makes me curious about what they'd do with YouTube.

While the bill is not fully approved just yet, it seems that people of the music industry in the UK think the bill is a good idea, and want to work with ISPs.

Geoff Taylor, a music industry executive says the bill " will not eliminate all piracy, but will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the Internet." He also expressed his understanding of what some music fan's may think, but assures them that the industry will continue to offer legal services on the Internet to fans that also get artists money.

It's interesting to consider how this might impact the industry for better and worse. I'm also wondering how the ISPs feel, now that they may have to issue countless amounts of letters to the many people who download illegally.

--Ashley Snider


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