There have been many attempts globally to stop illegal downloaders, mostly by prosecution. But the British government might have come up with the most radical solution yet. According toThe Times, a draft document is circulating that proposes illegal downloaders should have their Internet access cut. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed the existence of the document, but has stressed it’s an early draft and nothing concrete is in place. TheDepartment responded, "The content and proposals for the strategy have been significantly developed since then and a comprehensive plan to bolster the UK’s creative industries will bepublished shortly. We will not comment on the content of the leaked document." According to the newspaper report, the government will put the onus for enforcing the proposals on Internetservice providers, and those who fail to act might face prosecution themselves. However, this could create a paradox. Under data protection laws, ISPs can’t look at what data customersare transferring. That means that although the technology to see what’s moved on the Net is almost here, they legally can’t do so, and they claim they’re not responsible formaterial they don’t host. Several major British ISPs have talked to the record and film industry about ways to curb illegal downloads, but so far have failed to come up with a solution.So at the moment everything appears to be at an impasse. About the only certainty is that something will be done about illegal downloads, which cost the entertainment industry billions of dollarseach year.
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