Copyright Reform in Britain

There’s been some action and a lot of debate recently on copyright reform in Canada. Of course, other countries are also reviewing their own legislation. And here’s an example of something that seems like a particularly bad idea – one that I hope Canada is not thinking of adopting.

The NY Times reports that the British Department of Media, Culture and Sport is floating a plan (in the very early stages) requiring ISPs to cut off subscribers believed by content owners to be sharing files illegally. The ISP would be responsible for monitoring transfers.

I’m not sure this is practical, considering the volume of file transfers and the use of encryption by most file sharers, but it’s definitely an indication of the length to which governments are willing to go to protect copyright owners.

This plan is also in tension – though not necessarily a direct conflict – with a recent European Court of Justice decision that ISPs do not have to disclose subscriber information at the request of content owners.

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