UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

Summary: UK business secretary Vince Cable says blocking piracy websites will not happen, and copyright laws will be brought to the "modern era".


Cabinet minister and business secretary for the UK government, Vince Cable, announced in a speech this morning that plans to block copyright infringing websites are to be dropped.

In the speech at the British Library in London, copyright laws are to be updated "thoroughly" to catch up with modern society, including the relaxation of ripping CD music for personal use.

Blocking websites that encourage or provide links to copyright infringing content, such as movies, music or TV episodes, was one of the key elements to the Digital Economy Act.

Only last week, the Motion Picture Association won a court injunction requiring UK broadband and phone provider BT to block access to an infringing site, known as Newzbin2.

But as this court injunction was granted outside of the realms of the Digital Economy Act, many questioned whether the law was even needed in the first place.

The Digital Economy Act, brought out last year during the final days of the previous Labour government, was criticised for being rushed through without proper consultation. Less than 40 members of the lower house of parliament voted on the Act.

Many ISPs have declared their intentions to challenge the bill wherever possible. Some have even taken to the courts in an attempt to clarify vague elements of the anti-piracy legislation.

The London School of Economics earlier this year heavily criticised the Digital Economy Act, saying the law "gets the balance between copyright enforcement and innovation wrong".

The Act can also be used to cut off persistent pirates and illegal file sharers, with plans to send out warning letters by the second half of next year. Due to ongoing legal challenges, the cutting off of serial offenders may not begin until 2013.

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Topics: Browser, Government, Government US, Software Development

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  • RE: UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

    Good! :D
    I've never even heard of Newzbin...must've been crap anyway. There's a few Japanese sites I can't access but they don't even have file-sharing capabilities so it doesn't make a lot of sense. I can access them via Tor.

    Also, pay BT and they'll block whatever the hell you want.
  • Just Deserts

    erm it references things on the underground, what was the original internet for academic institutions. I'm glad your not using up usenet bandwidth.

    Actually it was newzbin2 but when it was blocked the previously taken down site newzbin was up and running. If they did keep blocking all domains they'd just setup they're own DNS anyway. They just gave them free advertising. When will they learn LOL. The internet means you will be rewarded if you keep doing well, it's not like the artists are short of cash, being out of order and you will get a lashback. Hopefully soon SKY will get their just deserts as bandwidth gets cheaper. They're out of order for subsidising and locking people out of the UKs national premiership football games (knowing kids beg they're dad for nickelodeon and movies) even when they aren't showing the game in question. If they did a honest and good constructive job, the internet would simply reward them.
  • RE: UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

    As usual, these laws get the balance wrong. In fact, balance is the wrong word. Actually, these laws have overwhelmingly been written for the content providers and against the content users. It has gotten to the ridiculous state, such as a very funny home video getting taken down because it has some background music in it.

    Companies try to lock their customers into their own ecosystem and these customers get screwed if a particular service gets shut down (examples - SurePlay, Walmart, etc.). Customers want interoperability and the companies hide behind these laws (that they either wrote or helped write) to keep customers from transferring their legally bought content to their other devices. Ironically, this causes people to look for other ways which leads them to find and use pirate sites.
  • The graph the record industry doesn't want you to see

    The Guardian's "The graph the record industry doesn't want you to see" ( demonstrate's why Ed Vaizey's DEA is just a Big Media puppet show:

    "It?s record labels and not artists who are losing out to the internet. Artists have taken more revenue over the last five years, even as record sales have fallen. Those are the findings of study by the Times Labs blog.

    With the aid of a couple of charts, the blog argues that music artists are better off in a world with illegal filesharing. This makes sense: recorded music is a pretty good advert for live performances. It also explains why the BPI, which represents the recorded music side of the industry, has been pushing so hard for Government action against illegal filesharers.

    It?s in their interest but not necessarily the artist?s, whatever Lily Allen might believe. [..] Expect the record industry to continue to try to get its business model enshrined in legislation."
  • Cartels

    There used to be action taken against cartels which conspired to act together against the interests of their customers. The record industry conspires to prevent artists from reaching the public except through them and prevent the public from getting recordings except through them. They must surely be defined as such a cartel. It is long past time that action was taken.
  • That is good that they are not blocking

    It is not the one user they have to care about. It is the guys downloading and making DVD/CD 's and selling them on the black market. I download a movie from time to time and Leonardo DiCaprio still made $77 million last year. Restriction of use hurts everyone, geez, how would the troll lawyers extort money if they closed all these sites down?
  • LOL

    Glad they canceled it :) It's not like these people/businesses end up becoming poor when people, like I, share their contents. At the end of the day, they still end up making millions of dollars from that same content.

    The people they should be worried about are the ones who copy and <b>re-sell</b> their contents without authorization :p majority (if not all) of stuff you see on pirate sites are free.
  • RE: UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

    Funny to see the comments here to the effect they won't stop stealing from others... If someone went to their house and took something - no-matter what value from their house they'd soon be screaming from the rooftops. Just because the theft has taken place on-line seems to make it "ok" in their small minds, as if stealing from the big companies is ok because they're big companies. Idiots comes to mind.. low life thieving idiots - who yes - should have their internet cut off and the sooner the better.
  • RE: UK drops plan to block file-sharing sites

    Was this an act of appeasement as a direct result of the recent riots in the UK simply by toning down the heavy handed BIG government and beginning to listen more to what the people want?