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Spain won't disconnect illegal file sharers

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Spain doesn't plan on unplugging internet users accused of illegal file-sharing, despite strong government support for "three-strikes" disconnection laws in the UK and France.

Culture Minister, Angeles González-Sinde, told the morning television news program, TVE Breakfast, Thursday the Spanish government "is not considering punitive measures for the end users of the internet," according to Billboard.

The European Union recently dumped a proposal to restrict the power of national governments to disconnect accused file-sharers in its Telecoms Reform Package to be decided in late November. A revised amendment now only provides for a "fair and impartial procedure" before disconnection, without a requirement of a prior judicial order.

González-Sinde told the show that instead of unplugging individuals who download illegal content, the Spanish government should "attack the origin of all these products that are on the web sites, as well as those who benefited from them."

Meanwhile in the UK, First Secretary of State, Lord Mandelson, has been pushing the government's plans to disconnect illegal file-sharers in legislation similar to the French "three-strikes" Hadopi laws passed earlier this year.

Mandelson said that the days of "consequence-free" web file-sharing are over, although he promises internet disconnections would only be used as a last resort. ®

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