Dunstone to fight piracy laws in court

CARPHONE Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone said last night that he is prepared to take the government to court if it passes a rule forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to cut off suspected file-sharers.<br /><br />Dunstone said that Carphone-owned ISP provider TalkTalk &ndash; which supplies 4.25m households &ndash; would refuse to slow down or cut off customers suspected of illegally downloading music or films, unless ordered to do so by a judge.<br /><br />&ldquo;In the event that we are instructed to impose extra judicial technical measures we will refuse to do so and challenge the instruction in the courts,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />Dunstone added that Lord Mandelson&rsquo;s proposals to disconnect repeat offenders would lead to &ldquo;more wi-fi and PC hijacking and expose more innocent people to being penalised wrongfully&rdquo;.<br /><br />He agreed that illegal file sharing &ndash; which the music industry says costs it &pound;200m each year &ndash; is an issue, but warned against Mandelson&rsquo;s &ldquo;guilty until proven innocent&rdquo; approach.<br /><br />The comments came on the last day of the consultation period on the government&rsquo;s plans to reduce file sharing. In the Digital Britain report in June, Lord Carter suggested reducing the speed of repeat offenders. But Mandelson has since proposed temporary disconnection.<br /><br />BT has also joined the backlash against the plans, saying that forcing ISPs to enforce the rules would result in rising costs and a poorer experience for users.<br /><br />Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw has said that the plans will be outlines in the Queen&rsquo;s speech in November.