Saturday, September 5, 2009

UK broadband service providers wrote open letter criticising internet anti-piracy policy

Many UK broadband internet providers and other digital freedom activitists joined together to attack the government's new proposals to disconnect the broadband services of suspected illegal internet downloaders.

In a open letter to The Times, the heads of leading UK ISPs including Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, Ian Livingston of BT, Tom Alexander of Orange have criticised the the new anti-piracy policy of the government, drawn by the Business secretary, Lord Mendelson.

The letter warned that disconnection is against freedom of internet users and this harsh measure failed in other countries due to protests from broadband users.

The broadband ISPs have given a few suggestions on how to stop illegal file sharing over internet:

"We must avoid an extra-judicial ‘kangaroo court’ process where evidence is not properly tested and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations. Without these protections innocent customers will suffer.”

The broadband service providers were also against the government's proposal that the providers should share the cost of tracking file sharers.

“The proposal that ISPs and by implication broadband customers should pay most of the cost of these measures to support the creative industries is grossly unfair since the vast majority of consumers do not illegally file share. Further, this payment approach would discourage content industries from developing new services.” the letter replied.

In July, the original Digital Britain report did not approve the broadband disconnection policy and rather supported other methods like slowing down of broadband speeds when any user found sharing files illegally.

Last month, the Business secretary, Lord Mandelson said the government would amend the original digital plan and might bring severe laws such as suspending broadband connection against the illegal file sharers.

The open letter was also under-signed by Jim Killock of Open Rights Group, Ed Mayo of Consumer Focus and Deborah Prince of Which?

No comments:

Post a Comment