British to Crack Down on Broadband Piracy

Dennis Faas's picture

It's a bit cliche, but the message still holds true: when the President of the United States speaks, the world listens. Such was the case when President Obama laid out his recent economic stimulus plan with the desire to invest billions of dollars towards the expansion of broadband access across America.

Now, Britain is once again following in America's footsteps, this time in the field of technology. If all goes well, the government predicts that every home in Britain could have Internet access by 2012. (Source:

The U.K. government wants to make broadband a universal signal, kind of like television, using a blend of fixed lines and wireless technologies. It is estimated that about 60 percent of British households currently have Internet access in some capacity.

There is one foreseeable problem to issuing nation-wide broadband: more homes connected to the Internet means the greater chance for unethical behavior, including music and film piracy.

British to Crack Down on Broadband Piracy

In response to these concerns, the British government plans to crack down on all forms of online piracy with hefty sanctions against violators.

While the government has promised to establish new piracy laws, enforcing them is up to the various Internet service providers across Britain. This means that persistent pirates will receive several warning letters, with extreme cases winding up in British courts.

Eircom, the leading provider of Internet access in Ireland, has agreed to abide by the proposed British laws. Likewise, the French government is also in the process of passing legislation to crack down on online pirates across that country. (Source:

And yet, many music and film executives and industry pundits are concerned over the potential backlash of enraged listeners and viewers.

Expect much more jostling to establish compromises among the music, film and telecommunications industries before any legislation is actually passed in Britain.

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