Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, warned internet users today that the days of “consequence-free” illegal filesharing are over as he unveiled the government’s plan for cracking down on online piracy.
Mandelson, speaking at the government’s digital creative industries conference, C&binet, confirmed that the internet connections of persistent offenders could be blocked – but only as a last resort – from the summer of 2011.
He added that a “legislate and enforce” strategy was the only way to protect the intellectual property rights of content producers.
The strategy, which will be officially set out in the government’s digital economy bill in late November, will involve a staged process of warning notifications with internet suspension as a last resort.
“It must become clear that the days of consequence-free widespread online infringement are over,” Mandelson said. “Technical measures will be a last resort and I have no expectation of mass suspensions resulting.”
The legislation is expected to come into force in April next year.
The effectiveness of the warning letters to persistent illegal filesharers will be monitored for the first 12 months. If illegal filesharing has not dropped by 70% by April 2011, then cutting off people’s internet connections could be introduced three months later, from the summer of that year.
“If we reach the point of suspension for an individual, they will be informed in advance, having previously received two notifications – and will have the opportunity to appeal,” Mandelson added. “The British government’s view is that taking people’s work without due payment is wrong and that, as an economy based on creativity, we cannot sit back and do nothing as this happens.” …
Cutting off illegal filesharers’ internet access was originally ruled out in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report released in June.
Somehow I think the file sharers will find a way around this. Not sure why people need to bother sharing files illegally, however. There is so much free music out there! You can probably find hours of free songs you like just as much as the ones you don’t want to pay for. Songs on this site are free to download, for example. 😉 Try this:
Fingertips… calls itself “An intelligent guide to free and legal music on the web”. Each week Fingertips reviews several free music downloads. Rather than trying to be an exhaustive source of music downloads, Fingertips tries to select a few of the very best.
There was a really promising open source project called iRATE radio … not sure if someone is going to take it over and maintain it. I may do that. Seems really cool.
It’s difficult to find music that’s actually worth listening to. Although many bands offer music on their websites, there’s no real way to tell if it’s any good without actually downloading it. The labels do serve the (somewhat) legitimate purpose of picking out the good from the bad. But we can do that ourselves with legal downloads by using collaborative filtering, for example by downloading music with iRATE radio, which you’ll find at http://irate.sourceforge.net/.
– Set it to automatic download in the settings.
– Rate songs and more will download.
– Hit the trash button to remove a song from your list.
– Windows users, the mp3 songs are located in a folder on your hard drive. Search for the “/irate/download/” folder to find them. You’ll have to rename them and copy them to somewhere else, it seems, to keep them.
– I’m still trying to figure out how to get my music on there…