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Report: Britain's prime minister backs efforts to combat piracy

During speech at technology conference, Gordon Brown says British government will "support the legal framework" that protects online content.

Gordon Brown, Britain's prime minister, is backing efforts by copyright holders to combat digital piracy and protect premium content on the Web, according to reports.

"We need to support the creation and availability of high-quality content," Brown said Friday as he addressed an audience at the Digital Britain Summit in London, according to a report on news site "We will support the legal framework that enables the private sector to create content."

According to other sites covering the summit, Gordon didn't outline plans on how his government intended to do that.

The blog Music Ally reported that Brown may be unwilling to support a "three strikes," approach. This is the term used to describe when Internet service providers issue written warnings to customers accused of multiple copyright violations. Under some three-strikes plans, ISPs have the option of cutting off Internet access to chronic offenders.

France recently voted down a law that would have made it mandatory for ISPs to follow a three-strikes plan. France's President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is expected to bring the legislation back for another vote.

Brown made his comments on the day four men connected to The Pirate Bay, a Web site accused of being a favorite tool for online pirates, were found guilty of having made 33 copyright-protected files accessible for illegal file sharing via the Web site.