Through the Digital Economy Bill, the Government is trying to protect the music, TV and video industries by cracking down on Broadband users who are using the internet to illegally download and share files.
The Bill, which is likely to become law before the election, will allow your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to send you warning letters if you are caught illegally downloading or file sharing. If you ignore the third and final letter, the copyright owner can apply for your name and address to proceed with suing you. If this is not successful, the Government may take powers to restrict the individual’s Broadband speed or cut it off completely.
- Limited private copying from CD to an individual’s iPod, for example, is acceptable but sharing these files is not.
- File sharing technology isn’t illegal but the actual sharing of music or video files is.
- Sending files via email or instant messenger is considered file sharing and is illegal.
- Use software to monitor internet usage of everyone if your household or business. The person on the Broadband account will be held responsible for its use.
- Ensure security measures are in place including changing the basic password on the account.
- Use a secure and properly configured internet connection so that no one external to your household or business can access your internet.
- Administrators, such as libraries and internet cafes, should have measures in place to ensure people are not using their internet services to file share.
- The Digital Economy Bill will be a wake up call for downloaders.
If you missed the Panorama programme, it can be viewed on BBC iPlayer – http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rl4dl/Panorama_Are_the_Net_Police_Coming_for_You/