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UK confirms plans to force alleged pirates offline

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed October 28, 2009

UK introduces 3-strike illegal download policy

The UK government's business secretary, Lord Mandelson, has confirmed initial plans to cut off Internet service for those who persistently, illegally download files. The policy should take effect in the summer of 2011 but will allegedly be considered a "last resort" after three notifications. After two initial warnings with close monitoring over the space of a year, Internet users would be disconnected with three months' opportunity to appeal the decision.

The strategy closely parallels that of France's newly enacted law, which has been nicknamed the "three strikes law" for the number of warnings and the end result. Lord Mandelson admits the similarities.

"Three strikes is a reasonable way of describing our approach," he says.

Suspected violators will get warning letters starting in April of 2010 and will be used as an initial gauge of the effectiveness of the approach. If a 70 percent reduction in illegal downloading isn't detected a year later, the UK will begin sending disconnection notices to these early targets.

Critics have resisted measures on this level under the belief that they effectively deprive a customer of an important utility. They have also noted the disproportionate response and at times accused governments of acting on behalf of music labels and movie studios. Concern also exists that this policy could be modified or halted if an election changes the government before the policy can come into action. [via The Guardian]

by MacNN Staff





  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Without proof?

    Here we go, not down the "guilty until proven innocent" path, but down the "guilty no matter what" path!

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Almost sounds fair to me.

    You will theoretically have received 3 notifications. If you have not done anything at all to resolve it, then you will be cut off. This assumes they have done everything they can do to pinpoint you as the party responsible, and assure you are receiving the notifications. I think the 3rd notification should be attempted "in person" by the local police department as a matter of record, so there is some actual attempt made to verify you know you are aware.

    You can contact your service provider to have them look into any IP/MAC address confusion, and there really should be some way to have them provide relevant information in a timely fashion, to the validated end user, added into the regulation.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Goodbye pirates hello organized crime

    Say goodbye to pirates, hello to organized crime.

    Well...which is what I would be saying if it could work, but its not possible to do this...what's pirated in the encrypted archive file that they downloaded?

    At best it keeps the game on...where it stops, nobody knows, but you won't have much privacy in the end :)

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "...if an election changes the government before the policy can come into action."
    Riiiight, let's just hope it takes its time getting through parliament then, cos there ain't a hope in h*** of Labour getting yet another term!

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