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Spain warned on filesharing cut-offs

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Communications Commissioner Viviane Reding has warned Spain to look carefully at proposals to cut off alleged illegal filesharers.

She said such a policy ran counter to European values and laws and that a new approach to protecting intellectual property was required.

Reding said: "If Spain cuts off internet access without a procedure in front of a judge, it would certainly run into conflict with the European Commission."

She said repression alone would not solve the problem and that any action needed to be fair, impartial and presume the innocence of those accused, according to EU Observer.

Spain, which already taxes digital devices which could be used for copying like blank DVDs and memory sticks, is believed to be considering similar moves to France - a "three strikes and you're out" policy of banning frequent illegal file sharers. Although recent comments from Culture Minister, Angeles González-Sinde suggested the law might focus on people making money from copyright infringement.

Reding's longer term view is that there needs to be a common market for copyright works across Europe. Reding said: "The lifting of impediments to the cross-border online distribution of creative works will improve the supply of attractive and affordable services that are legal.

"In turn, this will reduce the temptation for consumers to indulge in the illicit consumption of copyright-protected material." ®

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