UK gives up on punishing pirates.
In what amounts to a massive ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ from the government and ISPs, the UK’s new anti-piracy measures will no longer see illegal downloaders threatened with disconnection.
Instead, people suspected of pirating music, movies and TV shows will be sent up to four warning letters annually from 2015 onwards. And if they ignore them? Well, nothing.
The government says the aim of the new Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme is to give people alternatives by pointing them in direction of “compelling, legal alternatives” such as iTunes, Spotify and Netflix (which also raises the question of precisely which legal services people will be nudged towards, and whether the government should be endorsing specific companies).
The UK’s biggest ISPs – BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk – have already agreed to the £3.5 million campaign, and others are expected to sign up later.
The programme is a drastically watered-down version of the “three-strikes” approach put forward in 2012, which would have seen persistent illegal downloaders disconnected from the internet after three warning letters.
Meanwhile, copyright holders are fighting back without the help of governments or ISPs, serving Google with a record 5.9 million takedown requests in just one week last September. [via Digital Spy]