Responses on P2P File-sharing Consultation

January 19, 2009

Last summer the Department for Business launched a consultation on unlawful Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing and its impact on the British arts and entertainment industries. The consultation called for evidence on the issues involved and invited views from rights holders, ISPs, consumer organisations and the wider public on a range of options to tackle the problem. SCL’s Internet Interest Group framed a striking response which expressed particular concern about the danger of smaller ISPs opting out of any voluntary solution and questions the underlying assumption that the current regime does not work or is too expensive.

A summary of the responses has now been published. It highlights that there was no across-the-board support for the Government’s preferred co-regulatory proposal, which would give legal footing to an industry code of conduct agreed by the rights holders and ISPs.

Minister for Technology, Communications and Broadband, Stephen Carter said:

‘I’m grateful for all the responses we received, which point to a consensus on the need to educate consumers about the economic importance of copyright material and the damaging effect file-sharing has on Britain’s creative industries. We’ve also seen agreement on the need for legal content to be innovative, attractive and easily-accessible. And it’s clear that consumers’ concerns about data protection and privacy must be addressed. However, we received some opposing views on other issues – including regulation – reflecting the fact that this is a complex and challenging problem. We’re now examining what the best way forward is and will set out the next steps in the interim Digital Britain report later this month.’

The summary and list of responses is available at .