UK Considers Anti File Sharing Laws

We can already hear the protests from here...

We just ”knew” the government couldn’t keep its nose out of this…

Speaking to the BBC, Lord Triesman (above) – parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills – has admitted that formal laws may well be introduced into the United Kingdom to ban file sharing.

“If we can’t get voluntary arrangements we will legislate,” he said while demanding ISPs play a “more activist role” in stopping the widespread activity. “It is quite possible to know where it is happening and who it is happening with,” he explained in a line which will no doubt have privacy advocates up in arms (and file sharers looking nervously over their shoulders).

Thankfully at least – unlike much action in the US – Triesman said he doesn’t want to target individual members of the public deriding the idea of “hounding 14-year-olds who shared music” and instead focusing on those who distribute it for profit. “We have some simple choices to make,” he added. “If creative artists can’t earn a living as a result of the work they produce, then we will kill off creative artists and that would be a tragedy.”

So yet another body has thrown in its money’s worth. With everyone from the RIAA hunting down sharers to Radiohead launching its latest album online for a user-decided price there is clearly major industry upheaval.

Ultimately, I suggest the solution is in the hands of the record companies themselves and that is to introduce a flat rate, cross label subscription fee for unlimited access to all online music and (ultimately) video. Universal is already known to favour this approach, but how many years of negotiations and corporate infighting this will take is another matter entirely…

BBC Interview

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