Opposition mounts against UK’s P2P disconnection plan


The heads of the UK’s largest ISPs have co-signed a letter of protest against the proposal to disconnect suspected illegal file-sharers from their broadband service.

The open letter was sent to The Times on Thursday by the chiefs of TalkTalk, BT and Orange, as well as representatives of the Open Rights Group and the consumer choice organisations Which? and Consumer Focus.

It coincided with a detailed argument against the government’s proposals, issued as a statement by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG).

The signatories of the letter to The Times acknowledged the creative industry’s concerns about illegal sharing of copyrighted material. Nevertheless, they said the government’s latest proposals on how to reduce this are “misconceived, and threaten broadband consumers’ rights and the development of new, attractive services”.

“Consumers must be presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty,” the letter read. “We must avoid an extrajudicial ‘kangaroo court’ process where evidence is not tested properly and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations.

“Without these protections, innocent customers will suffer. Any penalty must be proportionate. Disconnecting users from the internet would place serious limits on their freedom of expression.”

I see the sides of this problem with governments trying to stop illegal file sharing, where as the individuals have the right to send to whoever or send what every they want across the Internet.  I will say one thing, if they shut off this kind of activity do they really think this will stop anything?  This will only punish people that are no interested in getting into trouble with the law.  Others with more means will just relocate their servers or service and keep on going.  Trying to police the internet is impossible without stepping on the toes of all of the users, and with our lives being more and more online it will just cause more problems for the honiest user.

The top portion of this post was written by David Meyer ZDNet.co.uk, Published: 04 Sep 2009.

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