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"Sir, We agree that the creative industries play an important role in the UK and understand the challenge that illegal filesharing presents (letter, Sept 1). We do not condone or encourage such activity, but we are concerned that the Government’s latest proposals on the “how” to reduce illegal filesharing are misconceived and threaten broadband consumers’ rights and the development of new attractive services. Experience in other countries suggests that pursuing such an approach can result in significant consumer resistance. Any new policy must be considered very carefully.Any decision to move to harsh and punitive measures such as disconnection must be genuinely underpinned by rigorous and objective assessment by Ofcom. Consumers must be presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty. We must avoid an extrajudicial “kangaroo court” process where evidence is not tested properly and accused broadband users are denied the right to defend themselves against false accusations. Without these protections innocent customers will suffer. Any penalty must be proportionate. Disconnecting users from the internet would place serious limits on their freedom of expression. Usually, constraints to freedom of expression are imposed only as the result of custodial sentences, or incitement to racial hatred, or libel. The proposal that internet service providers — and by implication broadband customers — should pay most of the cost of these measures to support the creative industries is grossly unfair since the vast majority of consumers do not fileshare illegally. Further, this payment approach would discourage content industries from developing new services.We hope that the Government will consider genuinely consumers’ rights in its endeavours to protect the creative industries.Charles Dunstone, talktalkIan Livingston, BTJim Killock, Open Rights GroupEd Mayo, Consumer FocusDeborah Prince, Which?Tom Alexander, Orange UK