British Telecom chief: File share users should be fined, not disconnected

Copyright advocates are lobbying countries negotiating the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, including the U.K.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

Copyright advocates are lobbying countries negotiating the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), including the U.K. One of the laws sought by protectionists is for ISPs to cut off Internet service to 'convicted' illegal file sharing users. British Telecom chief executive Ian Livingston is perhaps concerned with that level of prosecution, which is potentially a threat to long term revenues for the company. I.P. based networks will be integrated with the Internet network including voice and television broadcast services. The BBC quotes Livingston's position as;

British Telecom's chief executive, Ian Livingston, says illegal file-sharers should be fined rather than have their internet accounts cut off.

He and other industry figures have written to the Financial Times urging changes to the Digital Economy Bill. Mr Livingston says plans to suspend internet access for file-sharers goes against natural justice.

Instead he is calling for fines which those accused of downloading could choose to pay, or fight in court. He said this alternative approach would "create a fund" and "you get some good, rather than getting some hurt out of people infringing copyright".

Ian Livingston has been Chief Executive of BT since June of 2008. Details of Britain's Digital Economy Bill can be found here.

Additional resources:

FCC's National Broadband Plan: Net Neutrality, R.I.P.

FCC releases 'Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan'

FCC may set aside free wireless spectrum for Internet broadband

FCC, Comcast, others testify before Congress: NBC Universal-Comcast merger

Net Neutrality: Why the Internet will never be free. For anything. So get used to it

AT&T to FCC: Open to Net Neutrality ideas - with conditions

Net Neutrality: You own the Internet - make sure it becomes Law

Internet: A threat to government or the other way around?

Electronic Frontier Foundation links net neutrality to copyright

United Kingdom National Archives

French solution to illegal download and copyright infringement - tax Google and Yahoo

Google loses book copyright case in France

Lobbyist: Canada cans copyright deal in exchange for U.S. dropping Buy America

European Parliament notice to ACTA negotiators: Open up discussion and be transparent to the public

Editorial standards