Once in a while, a sidebar will throw a lot of light on a difficult problem. The BBC has a short piece on British ISPs' anger over proposed new laws governing file sharing in the UK. The new laws would include cutting repeat offenders off from the Internet. Early response suggests such tactics would fail: 'UK ISP Talk Talk said the recommendations were likely to "breach fundamental rights" and would not work. ... Virgin said that "persuasion not coercion" was key in the fight to crack down on the estimated six million file-sharers in the UK. ... Talk Talk's director of regulation Andrew Heaney told the BBC News the ISP was as keen as anyone to clamp down on illegal file-sharers. ... "This is best done by making sure there are legal alternatives and educating people, writing letters to alleged file-sharers and, if necessary, taking them to court."' The article also mentions a statement issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which 'proposes that internet service providers are obliged to take action against repeat infringers and suggests that the cost of tracking down persistent pirates be shared 50:50 between ISPs and rights holders.' Unsurprisingly, said rights holders are in favor of the idea.
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