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Governments should rethink file-sharing ‘ban’ -
Governments should rethink file-sharing ‘ban’
Governments are being urged to re-think their threats to ISPs for ‘permitting’ illegal music and movie file-sharing. A study from Thinkbroadband asks the pertinent question: “Would you expect your electricity company to cut the power to your home if you were playing music too loud?”
The UK government is not alone in looking for some sort of solution to curb illegal downloading of content. Its recent ‘Digital Britain’ report argued that ISPs should somehow or other be responsible for policing their customers. Broadband advice website thinkbroadband.com takes the view that the Government is focusing on the symptoms (illegal p2p file sharing) rather than the underlying cause (lack of consumer choice, outdated business models and education).
The internet is seen by many as the badlands of the world, unrestricted by national laws. It has helped to break through censorship and taboos in many countries, but equally presents the same technical problems for those who think censorship of some kind is desirable, and there are some strong arguments on both sides.
“There is a danger that broadband service providers are seen as the obvious choice to act as the policemen of the internet because they have the technical ability to cut someone off. Would you expect your electricity company to cut the power to your home if you were playing music too loud?” asks Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.
“It is about time that the Government accepted that it is its responsibility to fund a police force that can cope with modern policing requirements including investigating criminal offences committed online, and it is the role of the creative industry to enforce their intellectual property rights in the civil courts. It may well be that we need to refresh the criminal laws of theft to better cope with digital goods and services, and that we need to reform the court system to make the process quicker and fairer on costs, but the creative industry cannot continue to ignore the fact the world around them is changing too,” says thinkbroadband.