In Octover 2007 the UK Government was considering legislation to stop file sharing/music downloads in the UK
Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would not be tolerated.
“If we can’t get voluntary arrangements we will legislate,” he said.
Lord Triesman called on internet service providers to take a “more activist role” in the problem of illegal file-sharing.
There are ongoing talks between internet service providers and the music industry and these are, said Lord Triesman, “progressing more promisingly than people might have thought six months ago”.
“For the most part I think there are going to be successful voluntary schemes between the creative industries and ISPs. Our preferred position is that we shouldn’t have to regulate,” he said.
He admitted that the technology necessary to track illegal file sharing would mean that “it is quite possible to know where it is happening and who it is happening with”.
While he said that the government had no interest in “hounding 14-year-olds who shared music”, it was intent on tracking down those who made multiple copies for profit.
“Where people have registered music as an intellectual property I believe we will be able to match data banks of that music to music going out and being exchanged on the net,” he said.
“We have some simple choices to make. If creative artists can’t earn a living as a result of the work they produce, then we will kill off creative artists and that would be a tragedy.”