Lord Mandelson announces planned legislation to tackle online pirates

Illegal file-sharers will be disconnected from internet services, says Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.

Speaking at the C&binet Forum, set up by the government to discuss issues involving creative media, Mandelson announced that there there will be a 'three strikes' warning system involved in tackling those who provide and download illegal file-shares.

He said that cutting of those users' internet connections would be a "last resort", adding that people will receive two notifications of infractions, and if the decision was made to cut them off there would be an appeals procedure.

And the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, which Mandelson heads up, pointed out that there would be a toolkit of technical measures available to encourage illegal file-sharers to desist, including bandwidth reductions and capping downloads.

Expressing his dismay at suggestions that only 5% of music tracks downloaded is acquired legally, Lord Mandelson said that the trade-off for stricter controls on online piracy would be a relaxation of copyright laws, allowing copying of a CD to a personal player, for example, or sharing with family or friends.

More after the break

But internet service provider TalkTalk says it will "continue to resist any attempts to make it impose technical measures on customers," and that it thinks the 'three strikes' rule would lead to users being wrongfully accused.

It has set up a campaign called Don't Disconnect Us to oppose the plans.

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