Lord Mandelson sets file-sharing internet cut-off date

Business Secretary outlines legislation plan

Lord Peter Mandelson has outlined the details of anti file-sharing legislation set to come into play – naming the date when illegal downloaders’ internet connections could be cut off.

The Business Secretary, speaking at the digital creative industries conference c&binet, said that if the amount of illegal file-sharing taking place in the UK hadn’t dropped by 70 per cent a year on from April 2010 measures to cut off file-sharers’ connections would come into place from July 2011.

Mandelson said that connections would be cut off as a “last resort” and that there would be a “three strikes” policy, with offenders receiving letters of increasing severity, reports the Guardian.

He said that he does not expect to see a large amount of internet cut-offs. “Technical measures will be a last resort and I have no expectation of mass suspensions resulting,” he said.

The minister added: “It must become clear that the days of consequence-free widespread online infringement are over.”

The Featured Artists Coalition, which includes members of Radiohead, Blur and Keane, are pushing for a three strikes policy – but propose reducing internet speed rather than severing connections.