UK Plan to Disconnect Pirates Faces Legal Challenge


The confirmation earlier in the week that internet pirates in the UK could face disconnection from the internet as a response to repeat offences has raised some issues with ISPs, who have threatened legal action.

Pirate Bay

TorrentFreak is reporting that, while there had been some how that it wouldn’t be supported, the disconnection of repeat offenders is set to go ahead as planned. The most interesting response hasn’t been from copyright groups, which are, unsurprisingly, quite supportive of an action with such a strong disincentive for copyright infringement.

Of course, the big news in the TorrentFreak report is the word from BT, which details some of the reasons that internet service providers (ISPs) may well take a fairly heavy-duty stance against the whole business.

According to BT, ISPs will be expected to foot some of the costs of this new scheme, which it says will result in a rise in broadband prices for customers. Moreover, and this is the very interesting bit, the costs of implementing the new plan are set to hit around the £365 million mark… where the estimated music industry losses of £200 million don’t really stack up.

Certainly there are other kinds of piracy going on (videogame and movie piracy might even account for the same amount again on top of that), but sad as it might seem, it might be best to do something closer to what Canada does for copyright holders, which sees a tax imposed on blank media, a percentage of which goes to copyright holders.

Still, there are a lot of people looking at how the UK manages its internet piracy issues with an eye to the future in other countries. Hopefully there’s an equitable arrangement found, because simply disconnecting internet pirates for an apparently indefinite period of time seems a bit heavy handed.

If you’d like to read about it in more detail, the article over at TorrentFreak has a different take on it, but with a lot more detail about the ISPs involved.


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4 Responses to “UK Plan to Disconnect Pirates Faces Legal Challenge”

  1. Joe McCann Says:

    Is this the correct action to take…. The Web is open sourced. This sends a feeling of restriction to users of the internet… There should be another way to prevent this….

    • komplettie Says:

      Apparently ISPs think so too. It seems like a very heavy-handed approach, and one that’ll be impossible to employ with real fairness since there are so many legal reasons to use things like bittorrent that might be considered to look like piracy…

      It’s a brave new world alright, but I suspect it’ll be shot down by the ISPs if not by customers themselves.

  2. Nollog Says:

    How about blocking access only to the sites they know the user gets the illegal content from, rather than disconnecting the user completely?

    • komplettie Says:

      That’s probably the most reasonable suggestion I’ve heard so far when it comes to combating piracy. Sadly, “reasonable” doesn’t enter into discussions like this too often… it’s often a bit of a shouting match, with both sides being a bit over the top :/

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