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Government: tougher measures for illegal filesharers

Illegal fire sharers could be cut off
Illegal fire sharers could be cut off

The UK government is planning to cut off persistent file sharers of copyrighted movies and music.

The new laws, set to be proposed today, would give the government greater control over punishing the downloaders, removing some of Ofcom's power.

It's something of an about-face for the government after the Digital Britain report stated that users will be sent warning letters to encourage a drop the amount of piracy in the UK, something many thought was a matter that would be left until after the next election.

Letter of the law

The same letters are still likely to be sent, but instead of 'measures' being put in place to halt the threat of piracy (such as slowing down the connection speeds of offenders) the government will now be able to temporarily suspend the accounts of the persistent downloaders.

According to The Guardian, the new proposal states the old plans "would take an unacceptable amount of time to complete in a situation that calls for urgent action."

It also suggests that a deal between Lord Mandelson and the film and music industries is behind the sudden strategy change, a claim his Department of Business Innovation and Skills has quickly denied.

However, it will still be up to the content providers to foot the bill for targeting the wrong-doers, although the cost of sending out the letters will still be shared by authorities and the providers.

Via The Guardian

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.