The European Parliament is currently weighing up a telecoms reform package that would see users accused of filesharing by ISPs treated a little more fairly than the current situation, which is a little vague.
The BBC is reporting that users accused of illegal filesharing under the new reform package would have to be treated to a “fair and impartial procedure” before they could be disconnected. This is of particular interest now, given the recent announcement that British ISPs would be tasked with disconnecting users guilty of copyright infringement.
There are, as ever, two sides to the whole argument, with the European Parliament apparently under the impression that users shouldn’t lose a connection without first being brought to court for their misdeeds. It might seem like another negative, but the fact is that it’ll likely prove too expensive to bring everyone accused of filesharing to court, leading to a situation in which only egregious filesharers see themselves disconnected… which isn’t necessarily bad news.
It’s interesting to see this debate happening at around the same time as the announcement from Finland that a 2Mb broadband connection is to be made a legal right for every member of its population. Clearly there are two different movements here, one towards a decent data connection as a right, and one in which it’s a privilege, abuse of which will lead to it being revoked.
Certainly there’s an interesting underlying debate about what each culture involved values in terms of access to data, but… well, this is hardly the place for it. Rest assured, I know a charming Swedish anthropologist who’s studying it ;)