Friday, November 20, 2009

Digital divide over filesharing plans; Guardian, 11/20/09

Richard Wray, Guardian; Digital divide over filesharing plans:

"The government's planned crackdown on unlawful online filesharing has been attacked by privacy campaigners and internet service providers but welcomed by executives and artists in the music business.

Earlier today, the government published the digital economy bill, the result of more than a year's consultation and debate, which includes plans to send warnings letters to persistent unlawful file-sharers and paves the way for persistent illegal sharers to have their broadband cut off from 2011...

Some critics have already suggested that the wide definition of online copyright within the bill could leave the door open for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to use the new legislation to prevent sites such as Google News from linking to his online content.

But music and film companies warmly welcomed the digital economy bill. Christine Payne, general secretary of Equity and chair of the Creative Coalition Campaign, said: "The government is doing the right thing by introducing legal measures aimed at tackling widespread online infringement of creative copyright, such as by peer-to-peer filesharing or other technologies that may emerge in the future."

"Our creative sector provides 1.8 million jobs in the UK and produces world-class content, enjoyed by millions around the world, but simply put, this cannot be sustained and more jobs will be lost if illegal filesharing persists."

Chris Marcich, president and managing director of the Motion Picture Association for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added that Mandelson's decision to include powers in the bill to further change copyright law in future, were to be welcomed as "safeguards built in that will ensure the effectiveness of the legislation in the long-term"."

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