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U.K. Considers Kicking File Sharers Offline

A new government proposal, together with recent actions taken by Apple, could greatly restrict and hamper the Web activities of many British residents. The U.K. government is reportedly targeting illegal file sharing on peer-to-peer sites like LimeWire. The government crackdown involves a plan to implement several restrictions against repeat offenders who illegally download protected material like music and movies. The measures would restrict the pirates by "blocking access to download sites, reducing broadband speeds or by temporarily suspending an individual's Internet account," according to Reuters.

The Register is reporting that Apple (shocker) is also telling British consumers what they can and cannot do on the Net, specifically with Apple software. The Apple controversy stems from Value Added Tax (VAT), a luxury tax whose particular rates vary across Europe. Since businesses are eligible to reclaim the VAT (and Apple apparently doesn't want to pay it), the Cupertino company has decided that the 78 pages of apps in its iTunes 'Business' section are in fact not for business, professional, or commercial use, but are really only for "personal, non-commercial use." In that case, you may want to rethink the title of the 'Business' section, Apple.

Several highly alarming intelligence breaches have occurred in the U.S. because of file-sharing sites, including leaked information concerning Secret Service activities and details about the President's helicopter. The U.S. government has for years known of the dangers of file-sharing sites, so it would be wise for the feds to similarly think about restrictive measures -- and not just to protect revenue for the music and movie industries, either. The Apple incident, though, merely seems like yet more heavy-handed tactics from an increasingly isolated, secretive, and money-hungry company. [From: Reuters and The Register]

Tags: app store, apple, AppStore, file sharing, FileSharing, iphone, itunes business, ItunesBusiness, p2p, peer to peer, PeerToPeer, top



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