Yesterday’s publication of the interim Digital Britain report in the UK wasn’t quite a damp squib, but most of the key elements had already leaked out, so it wasn’t a surprise.The government says it will explore the potential for a Rights Agency to oversee efforts to combat online piracy of copyrighted material, although it also stresses the need for “innovative legitimate services” and consumer education.It also says ISPs will be required to collect anonymous information on serious repeat infringers, to be made available to rights-holders with personal details if required to do so by a court order.The BPI and UK Music were quick to react to the interim report, and both weren’t exactly resounding endorsements. BPI boss Geoff Taylor welcomed the idea of ISPs being required by law to warn file-sharers, but wanted it to go further.”It is hard to see how letter-sending alone will achieve the aim of significantly reducing file-sharing which the government has set itself,” he said. “The interim report proposes targeted lagel action against the most significant infringers but few people believe that the answer lies in suing consumers. We believe that proportionate measures taken by ISPs would be more effective.”UK Music boss Feargal Sharkey agreed, saying: “We do not believe that the form of intervention proposed by today’s report – suing consumers – is the best way forward. Obviously there is a need for greater dialogue over coming months.”It’s easy to focus on the Rights Agency and legal implications, but Forrester’s Mark Mulligan has been digging into the subtext of the interim Digital Britain report, and his analysis is well worth a read.He pinpoints one key theme: “the push for digital content to be subscription based and for that subscription to be part of an access subscription, perhaps even including legitimised file sharing”. Not that this is said overtly in the report, but Mulligan thinks the wording “builds the case in a persistent and measured fashion”.

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