Illegal downloaders should be cut off from 'net

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

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Persistent illegal file-sharers should be cut off from their internet services providers, an alliance of UK creative industries will tell the government.

The UK Film Council, along with eight other creative industry bodies and five trade unions said that jobs in the film, TV, music and software industries are at risk because piracy has become so rampant.

The alliance, which includes British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), have signed a joint statement asking the government to force ISPs to disconnect users who ignore repeated warnings about sharing content illegally.

The statement also details recommendations that they would like to see ratified in the Digital Britain Report, a government report due to be published on 16 June that will feature strategies covering all aspects of the technology and its future in Britain.

"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.

But ISPs have always resisted the role of enforcing against illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing, and have maintained that any change to their role would require a change in UK legislation.
In a statement to BBC News, the Internet Services Providers' Association (Ispa) - a trade body that represents ISP's – said rights holders needed to rewrite their licensing agreements, to take account of "new models of online content distribution".
Ispa's secretary general, Nicholas Lansman, said: "Ispa recognises that there is a problem with unlawful P2P file sharing, but it is important to recognise that a major part of the solution lies in licensing reform and the availability of legal content online."
As well as tackling internet piracy, the Digital Britain report would 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 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.

Siobhan Chapman contributed to this report

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