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UK’s proposed anti-filesharing quango

Wow. The IFPI’s strategy of “divide and conquer” by taking individual ISPs to court to force them to institute a 3 strikes policy, as successfully deployed against Eircom this week, is possibly marginally better than this insane obsolete-business-model handout proposed by the UK government in their Digital Britain report:

Lord Carter of Barnes, the Communications Minister, will propose the creation of a quango, paid for by a charge that could amount to £20 a year per broadband connection.

The agency would act as a broker between music and film companies and internet service providers (ISPs). It would provide data about serial copyright-breakers to music and film companies if they obtained a court order. It would be paid for by a levy on ISPs, who inevitably would pass the cost on to consumers.

Jeremy Hunt, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said: “A new quango and additional taxes seem a bizarre way to stimulate investment in the digital economy. We have a communications regulator; why, when times are tough, should business have to fund another one?”

Well said. An incredibly bad idea.

By the way, I’ve noticed some misconceptions about the Eircom settlement. Telcos selling Eircom bitstream DSL (ie. the 2MB or 3MB DSL packages) are immune right now.

They are, however, next on the music industry’s hit-list, reportedly…