British musicians -- Paul McCartney, Elton John et al -- speak out against disconnecting accused infringers

Paul McCartney, Elton John and other prominent British musicians have spoken out against the government's ridiculous proposal to disconnect people who've been accused of infringing on copyright from the Internet, calling it 'expensive, illogical and "extraordinarily negative".' Damned right. Cutting entire families off from access to e-government, health information, work, education, friends, family, and freedom of expression freedom of assembly and freedom of the press because someone accused one member of infringing copyright is terrible.

The UK government's own research shows that households without Internet access operate at a huge disadvantage, paying more for basic necessities than online counterparts -- everything from premiums on their phone- and gas-service because they can't opt for electronic statements to missing out on jobs and other opportunities. To treat the Internet as a luxury item that can be taken away from whole housefulls of people because one member has been accused of a civil infraction flies in the face of justice, proportionality and due process. Civilised countries don't engage in collective punishment.

In a statement seen by the Guardian, a coalition of bodies representing a range of stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Damon Albarn attacks the proposals as expensive, illogical and "extraordinarily negative".

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca) and the Music Producers Guild (MPG) have joined forces to oppose the proposals to reintroduce the threat of disconnection for persistent file sharers, which was ruled out in the government's Digital Britain report in June.

The plans have already been attacked by privacy campaigners, internet service providers and a range of MPs, some of whom accuse the business secretary of being influenced by secret meetings with senior figures from the music and film industry, a charge he denies.

The coalition accuses the government of being backward looking, saying there is "little support from logic" in proposals to cut off file sharers - a move welcomed by the record companies and UK Music, the umbrella body for the entire industry.

The statement says: "We vehemently oppose the proposals being made and suggest that the stick is now in danger of being way out of proportion to the carrot. The failure of 30,000 US lawsuits against consumers and the cessation of the pursuit of that policy should be demonstration enough that this is not a policy that any future-minded UK government should pursue."

YouTube and PRS make peace as musicians protest about plans to punish file sharers