Suspected UK pirates could lose Internet access

The British Parliament is considering new legislation that would give ISPs the right to ban users over the downloading of pirated material.

The policy calls for a warning notice to any customer suspected of downloading pirated files for the first offense, a suspension of their account on the second offense, and outright termination for the third.

Furthermore, ISPs are compelled to enforce these laws under threat of prosecution to the companies themselves. Courts will also seize customer data if necessary to go after the suspected downloaders.


According to estimates, about six million in the UK download files illegally each year. While the content providers and the ISPs have been talking about implementing a voluntary system, so far talks have stalled over several points.

There is some hope that a voluntary agreement will still be reached so that the legislation becomes unnecessary. However, its likely that content owners will push for the legislation's passage if progress is not made.

France has implemented its own version of the above system, and there is movement in the US to codify policies to deal with piraters here. The entertainment industry is hoping that a stronger anti-piracy policy will push Internet users to legal methods in greater numbers.

While there has been a rather significant shift to legally downloaded content, piracy still remains prevalent in many countries. China is probably the worst case of all, where nearly all downloaded content is pirated.

Details of the policy were first reported in the Times Online on Tuesday.

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