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'Net Anti-Piracy Bill Passes UK Parliment

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Just before being dissolved ahead of elections, the British Parliament passed the anti-piracy Digital Economy Bill after a mere two hours of debate.

The new bill is an attempt to crack down on illicit file sharing by allowing internet service providers to send warning letters to file sharers and cutting off internet access for persistent violators, the BBC reported.

The bill will also let copyright holders will be able to apply for a court order to request names and addresses of file sharers in order to take legal action against them.

Also included in the bill were provisions to pave the way for the switchover to digital radio by 2015 and updates Channel 4's function to include public service content on television and the 'net.

The bill's passage turned into a bit of a rush job ahead of the dissolution of Parliament and some elements of the bill were dropped to avoid opposition, including broadening the duties of communication watchdog Ofcom. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers