It was 2008 when the UK government originally proposed disconnecting pirates from the Internet, then a few months later Australia followed suit.
The latest is that it’s really going to be legislated and will come into force by April 2010 under the Digital Economy Bill.
I’ve noticed this trend picking up lately, a few companies are adopting this strategy or at least discussing it. First hit – warning, second hit – suspension then finally third hit is permanent disconnection and possible blacklisting.
Illegal file-sharers could be booted off the internet by summer 2011, says Lord Mandelson. The Business Secretary, who has been charged with ironing out the UK’s plans to tackle internet piracy, revealed that disconnecting repeat offenders will be a last resort.
Mandelson told the government’s Digital Creative Industries Conference that the “consequence-free” days of illegal file-sharing are over, and that a “legislate and enforce” strategy had been identified as the best way to tackle the problem. “Three strikes is a reasonable way of describing our approach,” he said.
The legislation, which will see those caught illegally downloading sent warning letters, will be officially set out in the Digital Economy Bill that is expected next month and will come into force in April 2010. “Technical measures will be a last resort and I have no expectation of mass suspensions resulting.”
I don’t see what the big deal is really, just use encrypted protocols or sign up to a VPN package and use another country that’s no so big on stamping down on piracy.
A lot of people use VPNs here in US or UK simply because BitTorrent traffic is throttled, it’s a small price to pay.
The same measures could be used to avoid any ISP snooping and get your downloads in peace. The whole Torrent scene has become a bit of a mess lately and it’s a hotpot of bogus files and tracked downloads.
Even with something like PeerGuardian you aren’t totally safe.
Repeat offenders will be issued with a second letter. If this fails to stop them illegally downloading, they will be put on a “serious infringers list”, with ISPs expected to “exercise technical measures”.
Mandelson also said that Ofcom will monitor the success of the warning letters in the first year and if illegal file-sharing has not reduced by 70 percent then suspending net connections will be brought into force.
“The threat for persistent individuals is, and has to be, real, or no effective deterrent to breaking the law will be in place,” he added.
Mandelson also said a “proper route of appeal” would be available for those suspended from the web. Once notified of possible suspension, offenders will be given 20 working days to appeal to an independent body, although Ofcom has yet to appoint the body. Mandelson said the suspension would not come into force until the appeal has been heard.
It’s interesting as well that they aren’t going hardcore right off the bat, they are still giving people a chance. If piracy reduces by 70% after the initial measures are put in place no-one will get disconnected.
Does that mean 30% of people can still download copyright content without any repercussions?
I’ll be watching the implementation anyway to see what kind of effect it has, I’d like to see the figures before and after 12 months and of course the metrics for measurement.
Source: Network World
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