UK Govt backs off site blocking

A UK Government working group is to be formed to try to find a “plan B” to avoid potential litigation arising from the blocking of websites accused of illegal filesharing.

The group will comprise rights holders, ISPs and search engines, is being formed after culture secretary Jeremy Hunt referred the Digital Economy Act’s section 17 on website blocking to Ofcom for review. The issue of site blocking has been one of the most contentious elements of the Act. Content company now fear network operators have successfully ‘got at’ the Government.

At a government meeting this week parties including BT, Universal Music, the BPI, Google and TalkTalk were brought together. It was decided to form a working group to look at ways of making the proposed system more palatable. Following a court order obtained by rights holders, ISPs are concerned about issues including legal action from websites they block.

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