Major UK Internet Providers Get Together to Tackle Online Piracy
Internet providers in the UK have joined together to tackle music piracy online, however the first 'big step' for the industry is apparently to - write letters?
That's right, thousands of letters will be sent out to users who the movie and music industry believe to be pirating software. If the users continue to 'offend', then their accounts will be shaped to prevent downloading, and potentially there will be lawsuits as part of the end-game.
Privacy advocates are happy because it means the ISPs don't have to give out the personal information of its customers, but skeptics believe this is just the first in a number of steps to track users.
We heartily endorse the formation of legal music services to compete with iTunes, and are delighted the government will tackle music piracy. A good start to tackling piracy would be to examine the absurd prices music companies goug.... charge for online music, when most of the cost of physical reproduction and distribution has been stripped away in the online model.
This is not a one sided game, the music industry is as much an actor in its own travails as are those evil and venal members of the public. In fact, as iTunes showed, if you charge reasonable prices for a decent service there is a market to be made. Failure to address this issue will make any law an ass.
Six of the UK’s biggest net providers are believed to be backing a government plan to tackle music piracy online.
The plan commits the firms to working towards a “significant reduction” in the illegal sharing of music.
The first stage of the campaign will involve hundreds of thousands of letters being sent to net users suspected of illegally sharing music.
But the music industry wants people's internet cut off if they ignore repeated warnings, something the web firms say they are not prepared to do.
The six firms are due to be named when the deal is officially confirmed later.
Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of British Music Rights, said the plan was "a first step, and a very big step, in what we all acknowledge is going to be quite a long process".
The second exemplary part of the deal is that it preserves 1) the ISP relation with its customers 2) the principle that ISPs are not responsible for monitoring and filtering content flowing over their networks. Once an ISP starts spying on its users, all sense of trust is gone (see the controversy surrounding Phorm and NebuAd, which use ISP data to sell more targeted ads). And making ISPs directly responsible for illicit content passing over their wires is horribly bad precedent that could be extended to thousands of illegal activities conducted every day over the web, by e-mail, or through Skype.