Anti-filesharing move 'will hit vulnerable' claim Greens

The Green Party is warning that the agreement reached this week between the recording industry and Internet service providers is ‘not in the best interests of musicians or music fans’, and could have a ‘serious impact’ on Net access for vulnerable people.

The Memorandum of Understanding, negotiated and approved by the UK government, would allow the six ISPs (BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB, and Carphone Warehouse) to slow-down or terminate Internet connections for individuals suspected of file-sharing.

The Green Party condemned these as 'draconian measures', and warned that they would harm the quality of life of vulnerable people who use shared Internet connections and are likely to be targeted as suspects. The party also argues that a healthy music industry, less dependent on corporate power, can continue to thrive without attacking people's rights to share content.

Internet-users should be worried by today's MoU between the BPI and the six largest ISPs in the UK, commented Tom Chance, Green Party intellectual property spokesperson: “The first stage gives the BPI the right to track filesharers, and pass their details onto ISPs. That's an attack on civil liberties in itself.”

Chance added: “If [warning letters] fail to deter them, the ISPs threaten to to slow or cut-off their Internet connections. It wouldn't matter who had done the sharing. It wouldn't matter if it was someone else in the building. It wouldn't matter if your machine had been assaulted by malware and used without your knowledge. People on shared internet connections will be cut off under these rules. These rules risk cutting many vulnerable people off from their livelihoods and their means for engaging as a citizen.”

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