UK government plans file-sharing laws

UK government plans file-sharing laws

Legislation on the way if ISPs don't do more to block illegal traffic

The UK government will draft laws designed to stamp out illegal file-sharing in the UK unless ISPs act to end it, according to a Labour Lord.

Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said the government hoped for a voluntary system of regulation but was prepared to act.

"If we can't get voluntary arrangements we will legislate," he told the BBC.

The senior politician said that the music industry and ISPs were currently in talks and things were progressing "more promisingly than people might have thought six months ago".

"For the most part I think there are going to be successful voluntary schemes between the creative industries and ISPs," he said.

"Our preferred position is that we shouldn't have to regulate."

However, Lord Triesman said the government was not interested in "hounding 14-year-olds who shared music" but would be looking to punish those using piracy to turn a profit.

"We have some simple choices to make," he said.

"If creative artists can't earn a living as a result of the work they produce, then we will kill off creative artists and that would be a tragedy."