Filesharing Sites Won’t Be Blocked In UK

Both Ofcom and the UK government have decided that trying to

block illegal filesharing website was “too cumbersome and unworkable” and are instead looking at other ways of protecting copyright holders.

Business secretary Vince Cable has said that while site blocking

is not a realistic option of preventing illegal filesharing at the moment, other measures were

being investigated. Last year the Digital Economy Act proposed such site blocking

but a consultation document published by Cable has ruled it out for the moment.

“Music and film makers have to be able to take

effective and justified measures,” he said. “The basic philosophy is

we do recognise the need for protection, but it has to be protection that’s

proportionate to needs and based on evidence.”

Vince Cable filesharing

One change which has been introduced however means that ripping

music from a CD you own is no longer illegal. “This brings the law into line

with, frankly, comon sense,” said Cable. “We need to have a legal framework

that supports consumer use rather than treat it as regrettable. We can’t say

that businesses should embrace technology but say to consumers they can’t use

technology for products they have paid for.”

There are still some issues to be ironed out however over

the storage of digital media in the cloud and Cable was not able to give any

details on this.

Communications minister, Ed Vaizey also spoke about the need

to protect copyright holders, talking about introducing a system where ISPs and copyright

holders would be able to come to an arrangement without having to go through

the expensive and lengthy court process.


“One of the things I’ve enabled is

conversations between ISPs and rights holders. I want to see if ISPs and rights

holders can come to agree a process to get facts together before going to

court. The key point is up to court to make a [final] decision.”

Last week we saw a landmark ruling when the courts in London

ordered BT to prevent its customers from accessing the filesharing site Newzbin2.

Source: Ofcom