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Thursday, July 24, 2008
British ISPs to Pursue Online File Sharers

Britain's music and film industries persuaded the six biggest Internet providers in Britain to send warning letters to those suspected of illegal file-sharing.

The move follows a recent vote of the EU in favour of amendments to telecoms law which campaigners say could be used to curb privacy online and file-sharing. The Telecom Packet vote, which is a raft of laws aimed at harmonising European telecoms regulation, takes place in September. However, British government seems to take the the first steps earlier.

British ISPs agreed to help the reduction of the online file sharing of copurighted music files, after significant pressure applied to them by the British government that would impose legislation if they did not work to curb illegal file-sharing.

Virgin Media , BSkyB , Carphone Warehouse , BT, Orange and Tiscali have agreed to work towards a "significant reduction" in the illegal sharing of content.

ISPs will send letters to illegal downloaders each week under a three-month trial, warning them that they are being monitored.

In case the warnings do not work, additional options could include a complete throwing of file-sharers off the web, traffic shaping to slow access for those who are either illegally uploading or downloading, or filtering to prevent illegal tracks from being downloaded.

Some 6 million Britons are thought to engage in illegal file-sharing each year.

Privacy rights organizations do not agree and argue that the specific EU law disregards privacy rights.

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