Feeds

Ofcom gets power to punish pirates

Regulator will throttle, cap, block filesharing

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Digital Britain Ofcom will get legal powers to impose an array of technical restrictions on ISPs who are unable to reduce illegal filesharing on their networks under plans unveiled by the government.

Lord Carter's final report on Digital Britain, published this afternoon, stops short of mandating a mechanism for persistent copyright infringers to be disconnected, but does suggest port blocking, protocol blocking, URL and IP address blocking, bandwidth capping, bandwidth shaping and filtering of specific content as sanctions.

Under the proposals, rights holders will be able to report broadband users they detect illegally filesharing to their ISP. Providers will then be obliged to notify those user their conduct is illegal.

As under current law, ISPs will be required to release the personal details of repeatedly notified users to rights holder who obtain a court order.

The new technical restriction powers for Ofcom will be triggered if 12 months of the notification regime does not reduce illegal filesharing among those notified at a given ISP by 70 per cent.

Carter said today he had been persuaded by the content industries that the government had to act to force ISPs reduce illegal filesharing.

Music industry bodies were disappointed that the proposals did not go further however. UK Music, which represents labels, collecting societies, music managers and the Musicians' Union said it did not believe the package would reduce piracy by 70 per cent in two to three years, the government's stated aim.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, which represents labels said the government was dithering. "Evidence shows that the government's 'write and then sue' approach won't work," he said. "And government appears to be anticipating its failure by lining up backstop powers for Ofcom to introduce technical measures later."

ISPs are likely to continue to lobby against the proposals as they enter consultation.

The two sides of the debate appear closer to becoming commercial partners however. Earlier this week Virgin Media announced a forthcoming DRM-free download service with Universal Music, although to make the deal it had to agree to disconnect persistent illegal filesharers. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.