British Government Report Nixes Three Strikes

LONDON — A British government report has ruled out the use of a "three strikes" approach in dealing with copyright infringement by Internet users.

In a keynote speech at trade publication Music Week's "Making Online Music Pay" conference, UK culture secretary Andy Burnham said the government does not wish to cut off a user's service and instead will seek "technical solutions," reports the BBC.

Burnham's comments were based on a Digital Britain report on Internet piracy, due June 16.

While an interim report in late January took the graduated three-strikes response into consideration, it has now been nixed. However, the upcoming final study will include the suggestion that Internet service providers send out letters to alleged infringers, warning of consequences.

So far, those consequences and technical solutions mentioned have not been determined, but would likely include ways to "limit or restrict" file-sharing through peer-to-peer groups.

Forrester Research Vice President Mar Mulligan told the BBC it could include a reduction in a violator's connection speed, which ISPs are already able to do if they wish.

"It instinctively sounds like a decent compromise," Mulligan said. "The sign of a good compromise is one that going to annoy both sides. I think ISPs will have an issue with it and so will the music labels."

Britain has never appeared too keen on the three-strikes approach and neither has Germany, while last month, France enacted legislation to put it in place, though the move is being contested by the European Union government.

Also, as DSLReports notes, Internet advertisers may not be happy with anyone's speed being slowed, even those accused of piracy.

Meanwhile, as reported Thursday by, even U.S. rights groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America appear to have stalled in attempts to get ISPs to agree on implementing a graduated response approach.