New powers to crackdown on file sharersTough targets set to stop pirates

17 June 2009

Ofcom logo

The communications watchdog is to get tough new powers to clamp down on people who persistently download films and music illegally.

Ofcom will have to reduce illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing by 70% according to plans set out by the government in its Digital Britain report launched yesterday.

The music and film industry says it's losing millions a year in the UK alone from people who rather than buy the latest films and music, download it for free from the internet.

File-sharing clampdown

The new clampdown on file sharers will see internet service providers (ISPs) given a role in policing internet piracy. They will have to notify alleged pirates that they are acting illegally and name and shame repeat offenders.

If these measures fail in securing a significant reduction, Ofcom will be given new powers to force ISPs by law to cap the speed of a repeat offenders internet connection or cap the amount of data allowed.

Online piracy

Communications minister Lord Carter said: 'We think online piracy is wrong. It is unacceptable. Creative companies, rights owners, individuals, have a right to protection.

'We wish to put in place a legal framework that provides them with those protections.'

The government also plans to introduce information initiatives to tell consumer what they can and can't download legally.

The education drive was announced as part of a raft of measures to tackle digital piracy as outlined in the Digital Britain report out yesterday.

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