Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Illegal Downloading

Last fall a number of TV and movie streaming sites were raided and shut down and bit torrent users are the new target. Yesterday I got a letter in the mail demanding that I voluntarily cease the downloading of copyrighted materials. If I fail to comply, I am warned, the media conglomerate in question will complain to my service provider, who will cut off my service. Letters like this are becoming more and more common (some demand a three-thousand dollar payout, to avoid a charges being laid) and, according to the BBC today, the draft of a new bill in the UK suggests that the country "will move to legislate to require internet service providers to take action on illegal file sharing."

"Technology that allows internet providers to monitor what content is being downloaded is becoming more effective, said James Bates, a media consultant working for the British government. "This is also likely to help accelerate the process of identifying pirates, and may lead to swifter disconnection, or prosecution."

This type of legislation is bound to be tabled for the US (especially if the Democrats - who are considerably more beholden to the concerns of Hollywood than the Republicans - take office in November) and Canada.

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