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Federation Warns ISPs That The Time For Self Regulation Has Come Before The Government Acts

In February the UK Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, threw down the gauntlet to the UKs Internet Service Providers (ISPs) challenging them to step up the industrys efforts to halt illegal downloading or be forced to by law.

Andy Burnham MP has made it clear that the government has serious legislative intent, and that the ISPs must put their own house in order.  The UK Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) firmly believes that self-regulation is the way forward for the industry as opposed to legislation.  However there are calls from some ISPs that the legislative approach is as undesirable as it is untenable.

Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone has been reported as saying: We are the conduit that gives users access to the Internet, we do not control the Internet nor do we control what our users do on the internet,

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of The Federation Against Software Theft, stated: There is already one ISP breaking ranks claiming that it is not their responsibility. But the fact remains if people are illegally file-sharing they are in fact in breach of their terms and conditions and the associated ISP must act,

In an ideal world there would be no place for legislation but unless the ISPs get their house in order then the Government will act and adopt a stance already in operation in France, he added.

There is no doubt that there would be expensive implications for everyone if we ended up monitoring Internet traffic within the existing data protection environment. It would be expensive, time consuming and deeply unpopular.  What we have been advocating for some time now is a voluntary code of conduct and self governance, he concluded.


About The Federation

The Federation Against Software Theft was formed in 1984 making it the worlds first anti-piracy organisation.  It is a not-for-profit organisation that is limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members, and works on many fronts to promote the legal use of software and defend its members digital rights through education, enforcement, lobbying and promoting standards and best practice in business.

The Federations own Legal Advisory Group (FLAG), which consists of 30 law firms engaged in IT/IP and operating in the UK and overseas, reinforces legal expertise.

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