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Working group formed over website blocking

ISPs, rights holders and search engines come together to find new solutions for tackling illegal fil

A new working group is to be formed by the government to assess potential plans to avoid litigation over the blocking of alleged illegal filesharing websites.

The group, which will include rights holders, internet service providers and search engines, will review alternative forms of action to take against the websites, with Ofcom reviewing the Digital Economy Act's section 17 on website blocking at the request of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The formation of the group follows concerns raised by ISPs about potential legal action from blocked websites.

In response, Hunt and Ed Vaizey, the communications and creative industries minister, held a roundtable discussion with businesses including BT, Google and TalkTalk to address potential problems with the section of the act.

The working group, formed at the meeting, will be tasked with considering alternative ideas including indemnifying ISPs against being sued by blocked websites and new policing of digital piracy searches.