Peter, Lord Mandelson, has outlined a series of proposals to clamp-down on illegal file-sharers, after literally months of talking about doing the very same thing.
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as well as the President of the Board of Trade, yesterday confirmed that those who persistently file-share illegally could and would have their internet connections suspended, as part of the Labour government's plans to cut down on internet piracy.
Speaking at the Digital Creative Industries Conference Cabinet (a fairly large mouthful, as with his titles...) Mandelson said that if the amount of illegal file-sharing doesn't drop by 70% a year from April 2010 then the crack-down would start. These measures will be included in next month's anti-piracy bill.
Yes, 70% is an awful lot, and perhaps an as unrealistic figure as how much this country has to drop its carbon emissions by. It could also a pretty irrelevant one, as the government of the United Kingdom by that time could well be a Conservative one and, quite honestly, who the hell knows what they think on the matter? With the advent of Spotify, though, it's anybody's guessi?
"It must become clear that the days of consequence-free widespread online infringement are over. I have no expectation of mass suspensions resulting."
"We will put in place a fair, thorough process, involving clear warnings to people suspected of unlawful file-sharing, with technical measures such as account suspension only used as a very last resort."
Seems all very well and good, but how many times has this particular policy changed over the last year, only for ISPs or musician's unions to pipe up and express their displeasure. We may well be destined to be in this situation forever.