UK Will Hunt File-Sharing OutlawsJeremy Hunt, the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, suggested to force all search engines and Internet service providers to apply more and more blocking filters to copyright content.
He believes it’s mandatory to consider all options against illegal online services, because online file-sharing threatens the freedoms and rights of content creators to be rewarded fairly. Jeremy Hunt implied that the United Kingdom might ask search engines and broadband providers to join the fight against piracy more seriously than ever. He claimed that they have to consider all options to make life more difficult for websites ignoring the legislation. That’s why he suggested to put a responsibility on search engines and Internet service providers to take reasonable steps to prevent access to websites that a court has deemed containing illegal material or promoting unauthorized distribution of material.
Hunt also suggested that a “cross-industry body” can be set up to identify violating sites against which action should be taken. The activity of such body can be supported by “streamlined legal process”, which would also help the courts to act more quickly. Finally, voluntary agreements are welcomed to be modified to fight copyright violation. In case such measures can’t be established right now, the country’s government should propose new measures.
Earlier this year, Hunt claimed that the British government would reconsider the present communications legislation. As a result, this past spring the same government launched a consultation between the authorities, the media and communications businesses. The consultation involved telephone providers, TV, radio and Internet publishers, who hoped to receive some feedback about the changes they’ve made. The results of the now closed consultation were supposed to be employed to inform proposals for a Communication Bill in order to help build new communications law applicable in 2015.
In his speech Hunt insisted that it’s vital for freedoms and legislation to apply equally on the Internet as they do in the physical world. He pointed out that the British don’t allow selling some products in the shops on the high street, and therefore they shouldn’t allow shops to be set up to sell illegal content. That’s why the UK should do whatever it can to make it more difficult to access websites involved in illegal file-sharing.