The Government moves the consultation goalposts

Editor's picture

The Pirate Party UK has been encouraging people to respond to the Government's consultation on P2P filesharing, which threatens Britain's 7 million file sharers with a range of draconian penalties.

Today, the Government has moved the goalposts for the consultation. They have finally admitted that, as we suspected, their plans do include cutting off internet access for whole families if one member of that family shares files, in stark contrast to Gordon Brown's recently stated aim of "universal connectivity to broadband".

This is a massive announcement that threatens far more people than before, yet it has been hidden away in an update to a consultation document. We are only to be given 5 weeks to respond to this major announcement and defend our right to justice, a fair trial, and to defend the principle that collective punishments are wrong, despite the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills having a commitment to 12 week minimum consultation periods.

The other new announcement is that ISPs will be expected to share the cost of enforcement 50:50 with 'rights holders', a move which may well price independent artists and film-makers out of the process, and places an unjustifiable burden on ISPs who are a third party in disputes between file sharers and rights holders. 

Yet again the Government have done exactly what the big media cartel have told them. There is still no hint of a real discussion on the rights and wrongs of file sharing, or that the strong arguments in favour of legalistion will be given fair consideration.