Feeds

Mandy not swayed by ents mogul on illegal file sharing

Says piracy chat with David Geffen never happened

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The government has dismissed reports that suggest business secretary Lord Mandelson plans to crackdown on illegal file sharing, by slapping hefty fines on thousands of individuals found guilty of abusing their web access.

A spokeswoman at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) told The Register that it was “nonsense” to “speculate” that Mandelson would target teenagers who illegally download music and films.

She said news reports that had appeared over the weekend were “simply journalists putting two plus two together and coming up with seven”.

The Daily Telegraph claimed that millions of people throughout the UK faced fines of up to £50,000 if their kids were caught illegally downloading films and music.

Meanwhile, according to the Times, Mandelson, who took over responsibility for digital policy after Lord Carter — author of the Digital Britain report — recently left the government, is supposedly mulling tougher measures against online piracy following a meeting with DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen.

He had a private dinner with Geffen, who is a long-standing critic of illegal file sharing, while holidaying in the Greek island of Corfu earlier this month at a villa owned by the Rothschild banking family.

However, the BIS spokeswoman denied that any discussion had taken place between the two men about internet piracy.

Treasury minister Stephen Timms, who took charge of the government’s Digital Britain plans earlier this month, told the Financial Times on Friday that UK.gov was hoping to reduce illegal file sharing in Blighty by 70 per cent within a year.

He confirmed that ISPs had been told to write letters to people caught illicitly downloading copyrighted material, and added that persistent offenders could face the threat of court action.

“The [70 per cent] target is a reasonable one,” Timms told the FT. “The concern is if the target isn’t hit, what happens then and how quickly we look at it again.”

Communications watchdog Ofcom would, under the Digital Britain proposals, be granted powers to step in; either by slowing internet connections or blocking access to piracy websites used by anyone who persists in illegal file sharing online.

Carter’s final report on Digital Britain was published in June. It stopped short of mandating a mechanism for persistent copyright infringers to be disconnected, but did suggest port blocking, protocol blocking, URL and IP address blocking, bandwidth capping, bandwidth shaping and filtering of specific content as sanctions. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.