The UK copyright industry has hardened its position on 3-strikes-and-you’re-out policy, calling for the measure to be included in the government’s final Digital Britain strategy. An alliance of content owners, including the film and music industries, has asked the government to force ISPs to disconnect users who have been involved in file-sharing of illegal content. This comes at the same time as the French have voted in their own version of “3-strikes”, a fact that I am certain is no coincidence at all. The copyright industry may want to strike while the iron is hot, as they say.
I am on record stating my opinion on the topic, but I will restate it. 3-strikes is bad policy, it is unworkable, unjust and excessive. It creates a nightmare scenario that converts ISPs into policemen with little or no evidence. It can only be hoped that there will be a challenge of this in court f it ever passes. Nonetheless, this is politics, and I am hoping that there is currently no level of popular support for heavy-handed copyright policy. Particularly, the New Labour government is too unpopular at the moment, and there is no way they would try to pass an unpopular law. However, does the public even knows about this? We need to shout it from the rooftops, and let people know that collective punishment is possible.
Meanwhile, let’s hope that the French prove 3-strikes to be the unworkable legal mess that we believe it to be.