Filesharers will not be cut off 'willy nilly'

The government has softened plans to force ISPs to shut down filesharers connections, saying it must go to court first.

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The government has taken a step back from controversial plans to force ISPs to cut off the broadband connections of the most prolific filesharers.

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw, speaking to a Commons committee, said such suspensions would be a "very last resort for serial and serious infringement" and would require a court order first.

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"It wouldn't just happen on the basis of an accusation," he told the committee. "Firstly there would need to be a court order for any of the technical measures."

He added: "Innocent teenagers are going to be cut off willy nilly on the basis of an accusation. That is not our intention."

Cutting back on illegal filesharing was part of the Digital Britain plan, but the move to cut off the worst offenders has since been proposed.

Such plans have been controversial with ISPs. Carphone Warehouse's executive director of strategy and regulation Andrew Heaney said at the time he was "dismayed" by the plans.

Click here for more on how copyright has been overtaken by technology.

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