(AFP) – Feb 22, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — British Internet service providers (ISPs) face legal sanctions from the government if they do not crack down on online piracy by April 2009, a minister said in an interview published Friday.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham described the deadline as a "clear signal" of Britain's determination to tackle illegal downloading of films and music, which media companies say is costing them billions of dollars (euros) in lost revenue.
"Let me make it absolutely clear: this is a change of tone from the government ... It's definitely serious legislative intent," Burnham told the business daily.
Burnham added that while there was "no burning desire to legislate", ISPs could only hold legal action off if they made "considerable moves forward ... a change in the nature of the dialogue (with) good and innovative business solutions that can address the problem in a different way."
The Financial Times said about six million British Internet users illegally downloaded files every year, but did not specify its source.
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