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U.K. bill would hit online piracy hard

Stephen Beard Mar 15, 2010
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U.K. bill would hit online piracy hard

Stephen Beard Mar 15, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: British lawmakers could impose strict new rules to cut down on digital piracy in that country. Under a plan that will be introduced today in London, downloaders caught with illegal music on their computer could lose their Internet access. And Internet service providers could be heavily regulated.

From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The bill is designed to hit online piracy hard. The courts would be given stringent new powers. They’d be able to block access from Britain to Web sites providing pirated films and music. Illegal downloaders would be targeted too. They could be cut off from the Internet altogether.

But critics of the new bill say it will sabotage Britain’s digital economy. Google, Yahoo, eBay and Facebook all oppose the measure. They say it could threaten freedom of speech. Companies might seek to suppress certain content under the pretext of protecting copyright.

But the British government says this tough approach could pay big dividends. It could generate millions of extra dollars for music, movie and other creative industries.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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