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article imageUK Group Proposes Internet Ban on Illegal Downloaders

By Brandon McPhail     May 12, 2009 in Technology
If you think you're saving money, downloading your favourite television shows and movies, be prepared to start paying up one way or the other.
A group of British media moguls, dubbed “The Copyright Squad” have been in talks with their Hollywood counterparts and are pressuring the British Parliament to pass legislation compelling Internet Service Providers to take action against online pirates. The proposed plan suggests a person identified as illegally downloading media files would receive a warning from their ISP and subsequently banned from the internet if their downloading activities persist.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association (UK) has taken issue with the idea that they could be responsible for policing online piracy. Such policing is a formidable task of which the ISPA commented: ISPs are no more able to inspect and filter every single packet passing across their network than the Post Office is able to open every envelope
The Times of London recently reported that ISP’s who do not enforce a “three strikes” policy could be prosecuted under new legislation. The Green Paper containing information on proposed legislation was leaked to The Times in February of this year and has worried ISP’s as well as many individuals who run and use the sites.
The BBC has reported that internet traffic has gone down in Sweden by an incredible 33% since the institution of their new anti-piracy Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) law. Sweden is the first in a long list of European Union countries that could be affected by a stronger stand by the EU on piracy of intellectual property. In April 2009 the five founders of Pirate Bay, a file sharing site based in Sweden, were each sentenced to jail terms under the new IPRED law.
Currently web servers who allow users to stream and download intellectual property protected by copyright laws have gone largely unpunished. In October of 2008 George W. Bush enacted an Intellectual Property anti-piracy law, creating the position of IP Czar. To date President Obama has yet to appoint someone to this post. Recently Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative placed Canada on its priority watch list for failing to enact or enforce effective Intellectual Property laws. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a public affairs association representing the interests of companies who publish computer and video games, reported: Putting Canada on the ‘Priority Watch List’ is a signal of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthening global intellectual property protection, and its intent to address this issue firmly with the Canadian government
An amalgamation of media associations who track intellectual property theft as it pertains to the European market released the EU Green Paper on Counterfeiting and Piracy: A Call to Action. The amalgamation reports 4.5 billion euros are lost each year to piracy.
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