Illegal downloaders should be banned from the net

UK film council recommendations to government

The UK Film Council, along with a number of other industry bodies and trade unions, is urging the government to ban illegal downloaders from the net.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) are among the nine creative bodies and five trade unions that signed a joint statement, detailing recommendations they feel should be included in the Digital Britain Report.

The report, which is due to be published on June 16, will feature strategies covering all aspects of the technology and its future in Britain. As well as tackling internet piracy, the report will also deal with implementation of a nationwide roll out of 2Mbps broadband access, next-generation fibre networks and even the future of television.

"The growing threat of illegal P2P (peer to peer) file-sharing threatens [the creative industries], as films go unmade, DVD sales deteriorate and jobs are lost in production and distribution of content," said John Woodward, head of the UK Film Council.

However the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has dismissed the move.

"ISPA is disappointed that the creative industries continue to advocate legislation on enforcement without considering how the complicated licensing processes that many stakeholders believe are at the root of the problem can be reformed," the group said.

"ISPA members have consistently explained that significant technological advances would be required if these measures are to reach a standard where they would be admissible as evidence in court."

The Digital Britain Report Steering Board is currently working with Virgin Media, Channel4 and BSkyB on drafting a strategy for the report that will successfully tackle illegal file sharers.

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See also: Gov't plans to kill illegal downloads

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

PC Advisor (UK)
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