U.K. gov't backs file-sharing crackdown

New legislation will reflect crackdown efforts

LONDON -- Plans to clamp down on illegal file-sharing will form part of new legislation aimed at boosting the U.K.'s digital economy, it was announced Wednesday.

The government is backing a program of "education" for copyright abusers who inadvertently breach ownership, but will also force Internet service providers to disconnect persistent offenders who illegally download films and music.

The legislation, which will be published to the House of Commons on Friday, will also include measures to simplify copyright laws as well as a classification system for video games.

The plans were announced in Parliament by the queen, as part of the annual Queen's Speech, in which the monarch outlines the government's legislative program.

"My government will introduce a bill to ensure communications infrastructure that is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting," the queen said in her speech, part of an elaborate pomp-filled state occasion that sees her arrive at the House of Commons wearing her crown and travelling in a horse-drawn carriage.

Further details of the legislation will be made available later this week.