File sharing – right to a fair trial

Here is the Consumer Focus response to consultation on legislation to illicit p2p filesharing.

In short, we don’t condone illicit file sharing but we see it as an inevitable consequence of the failure to meet consumers’ needs. The only effective solution is new business models that meet consumers’ clearly expressed demand for digital services.

We 100% oppose internet account suspension as possible enforcement measure for copyright violation via filesharing. It is not a proportionate measure and there are considerable issues around the punishment of entire households due to the actions of one person. We have also taken a strong position with regards to the right to due process, that is the right to presumption of innocence and a fair trial. 

This is up for consultation at the moment. The current plan is for Government to introduce legislation as part of the Digital Economy Bill -expected in the second half of November.

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