Friday, 27 November 2009

Anti Piracy Laws May be Hard to Enforce for Those Using Mobile Broadband

Shortly after dinning with music industry big shot David Geffen on his yacht this summer Peter Mandelson suddenly announced plans to crack down on illegal online file sharing. Mandelson plans to criminalise vast swathes of the population and 'throw them off the internet' if they are caught sharing copyrighted material.

Many have suggested that the proposed law is flawed in many ways and seems to contradict the Government's 'Digital Britain' plans. Treasury secretary Stephen Timms claims that the main ISPs are "pretty supportive of where we have now reached" although Talk Talk and BT disagree. There have also been questions raised about the likely cost of the plans and how exactly they will be funded.

Mobile Broadband operators have expressed their concern at the proposed new law and suggested that tracking those who illegally download via a mobile connection may be problematic.
"[ISPs] are not allocating one IP address per customer. They can't backtrack, as things stand, to identify the customer. They would be required to build the databases that would be able to do that mapping, and that would be very costly."

Mobile Broadband Group chief Hamish MacLeod

The databases required would cost the industry around £35m at a time when they are looking to expand coverage and increase speeds. The industry is unsurprisingly not eager to shoulder this cost especially those who specialise in mobile broadband. As mobile broadband download limits can be lower than with fixed line broadband, mobile users are not thought to download as much copyrighted data.

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