Government confirms: no u-turn over Digital Economy Bill

<p>The government has confirmed that there has been no change to its stance on proposals to cut off repeat illegal file-sharers from internet access, saying they are still part of a &quot;last resort&quot; measure. </p><p>Yesterday <a href=" target="_blank"><em>the Guardian</em></a> reported that plans had been &quot;dumped&quot; in response to a petition against the proposals that had garnered just 550 responses. It quoted the government as saying: &quot;We will not terminate the accounts of infringers &ndash; it is very hard to see how this could be deemed proportionate except in the most extreme &ndash; and therefore probably criminal &ndash; cases.&quot;</p><p>But, a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills told <em>The Bookseller</em> this caveat had always been in place, stressing the temporary nature of any suspension should it be brought in. </p><p>He added: &quot;Any move to using technical measures on internet connections would only be made as a last resort and only if our initial measures to deal with unlawful file sharing do not have the desired effect. </p><p>&quot;If government decided to use technical measures, the secretary of state would be required to consider an independent report from Ofcom on whether they should be imposed and on the most effective and proportionate measures.&quot; </p><p>Benjamin King, head of policy and communications at the Publishers Association, agreed this process had always been in place. &quot;Government, like the creative industries, has always considered that account suspension should only be an option of the last resort for the most extreme cases of file-sharing. In that respect, the policy hasn&rsquo;t changed,&quot; he said. </p><p>&quot;Government has always been very clear on that point. But certain interest groups have inflated proposals in a way that is designed to be alarmist, and turn people against what is in essence sensible and pragmatic solution.&quot;</p>