Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 16, 2009


Independent, UK - Seven million people could be criminalised under government plans to crack down on internet piracy, to be included in this autumn's Queen's Speech. The illicit downloading of music and films on the internet, a practice engaged in by one in 12 of the population, could lead to severe restrictions on internet access and a fine of up to £50,000. . . Tom Watson, the former minister for digital engagement, criticizes the proposed crackdown as extreme and calls for a more measured approach that would target those who uploaded illegal content, rather than the millions who downloaded the files. His intervention comes in the week after the Pirate Party, which won a European parliamentary seat in Sweden in June on a platform of legalizing internet file-sharing, announced it would fight the next general election in Britain. The new Pirate Party UK was reported to be recruiting as many as 100 people every hour since its launch last week.


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