Persistent illegal file-sharers should be cut off from the net, an alliance of UK creative industries says.
The alliance wants the government to force internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect users who ignore repeated warnings about sharing illegal content.
BBC News website readers have been sending in their reaction to this story.
Hands-up to who used to copy tapes and give them to their friends? This is the same thing but a wider scale.
It's time the "creative industries" woke up and joined the digital revolution instead of fighting against it. In a free market economy it is not up to one business to protect the interests of another. Anyway, regardless of legislation, illegal downloading will go on - simply encrypting the data to look like something else en route will defeat any legislation proposed, and that technology is already readily available for free. Time for the industry to focus on better legal provision, that's the real solution
Alec Wood, Hartlepool UK
The problem will not be eradicated by spying on people's internet usage and disconnecting offenders. Those who want to find a way round the law always will - such as using proxy servers to hide their identity and location. I think in order to stop file sharing efforts should be directed towards the websites and software developers who make this kind of illegal file sharing possible. If laws were passed that allowed these sites to be shut down, then people would no longer be able to use them.
Sam, Bristol, UK
There is significant research out there that shows that people who download illegally via P2P also download more music via services like ITunes. The problem is that the music and film industries are not moving forward at a fast enough pace to keep up with the technology. If there was a decent, ad supported, streaming service for films, and music that wasn't DRM restricted then people would be more willing to use these legitimate services. However the industry seems reluctant to move forward and thus P2P downloading seems like the only viable option for some people.
Daniel Lovell, Guernsey, Channel Islands
If you stop people downloading films, they will not suddenly rush to buy them. They had no intention of buying them in the first place. Would people really go to the effort of downloading if new releases were a more realistic price like £5 a disc?! Unfortunately these efforts only prove the movie industry is greedy and misguided. There's obviously lots of movie execs out there living on the breadline.
Alan, Leeds, UK
I work for a music group company which has been involved in the UK music industry since the 1960's. Whilst a record company was once at the core of our business we are now involved only through music publishing. I have seen the number of staff at the record label I worked for cut back again and again as it struggled to make ends meet. Now we sell the catalogue of recordings which we own but we no longer sign recording artists to the label. Undoubtedly file sharing has been a major factor facing the record industry resulting in falling sales and deflationary CD prices to encourage purchases. Cutting off illegal file-sharers may seem draconian but we have to educate people that it is a crime and more importantly if we want to foster and nurture local talent it is vital that recording artists and companies are able to exploit their works commercially. The UK government should also realise what an important export industry the UK music industry is and that it deserves the support of UK legislators to tackle the problem. If you love music pay for it.
Adrian Cornes, London, UK
Are they going to ban the selling of second hand CD's/DVD's on eBay as well? It's the same thing. People try different music/tv programs as they can download them, and then buy the real product if they like it. Take that away and you may get less sales
None of these content creators are advocating trials, or any kind of judiciary procedure. They think that it's perfectly fine for you to get a strike against your name if you're 'suspected' of file sharing. Summary justice is a bad idea in any context, but especially when the party promoting it has a vested interest. In short, it is a terrible idea.
Matt Bee, Edinburgh
The film industry needs to be more adaptive to the changes that have happened to the internet in the last decade. Instead of fighting against users, they need to embrace p2p technology and use its benefits. There is no iTunes for films because of the size of films and time taken to download them. But by embracing p2p technology, an iTunes-esque website could be set up to buy films at a small amount of money, or rent them. Maybe Love Film should trial this as they have a huge membership who would test this out....
Ben, London, UK
"Home taping is killing music!" That was the Phonographic and Video industries warning a couple of decades ago. Did it kill music? No. This is just another cry of Wolf from companies who desire to squeeze every last penny they can from the public. Over the last few years they have moved against Fair Use and mounted illegal and immoral attacks of their own on innocent people, threatening them with huge lawsuits unless they pay "Protection" money. According to these companies, I should be compelled to re-buy my music and film collection every few years and they have the right to spy on me to make sure I'm not doing anything illegal like, for example, lending a CD to a friend. This is just another example of a staggeringly rich industry feeling threatened and deciding to misuse its enormous wealth to strip ordinary people of their rights and privacy.
Mark Townsend, Cambridge, UK
Sharing copyrighted material online is no different to walking out of a shop with CDs/DVDs stuff under your jacket. People wouldn't expect to go unpunished for that! There does also need to be education so that people get away from the idea that everything online is free, copying copyrighted text and images is still illegal online. There is also the issue of malware etc being bundled with shared software, a great way for cyber criminals to get their software onto your system.
Lewis Craik, Rugby, UK
I illegal download music regularly, but only because I think not only the more wealthy, who can afford lots of music and films, can own vast amounts of music and films. If I like a film enough, I go buy the DVD or see it in the cinema. If I like a song or band enough, I buy there records or go see them live. I don't like paying for something I don't like, so I check if I like it "illegally", and then give money to those who I think deserve my money. I know there are millions like me, I'm an average 18-year-old who does what everyone else does. ISP should not invade people's privacy, its completely unethical, and a waste of money. The majority of all internet users will have never illegally downloaded in their life, but perhaps been lent music of a film (which is apparently illegal too). Most people who illegally download, "stealing" and "making people lose their jobs" are young 16-22 students who are heavily influenced by film and music who don't have enough money to buy all the films they want to see or all the music they want to listen to. Once we all grow up, our downloading will decrease, as we will have more money to pay for things, and the fact we wont want to watch or listen to as many films or music.
Jason , North Bedfordshire, England
I work in the film industry and I believe it is down to us to embrace the distribution of content via the internet. The problem is that the major players have vested interests in maintaining the current methods of distribution, something they don't readily acknowledge. Perhaps it is also a time for rationalisation in the creative industries - maybe a few less champagne lunches and a lot more work is required! It could be argued that we are not worth the massive amounts of money we have generated! Perhaps we are getting what we deserve after ripping people off for the last few decades.
David Hayes, London, England
I don't think file sharing damages the industry, in fact I think it enhances it. I never download movies - I always pay to see them as I enjoy the experience of going to the movies and I like having a legal copy on DVD for the extras etc. I DO, however, download music - if I like what I hear I buy it it, if I don't I just delete it. Since discovering downloading I have purchased 2 or 3 times as much music this year than I did for the whole of last year. I do not see the point of spending £15 on a CD if I do not know what the tracks sound like. If downloading is stopped I'll just go back to listening the radio and not buying CD's.