Now The Music Industry Is Going After ISPs In Australia

from the great... dept

One of the few good things in the DMCA (though, the recording industry still hates this part) is that it made it clear that ISPs were not liable for content that traveled on their networks. This makes a tremendous amount of sense – because if you didn’t have that, every ISP would need a huge team of people to monitor everything that happened on their service. Every email would have to be reviewed before it could be sent. Every webpage and every link would have to be checked before it could be posted or clicked on. It basically would make the internet useless, because no ISP would want to get into the business. Such a law is apparently not clearly written in Australia, where the recording industry has decided to sue an ISP for copyright infringement because music was downloaded over their network (not even hosted by them). The industry is using, as proof, data that shows a large amount of traffic on the ISP is in the form of copyrighted materials. They seem to assume this means that the ISP broke the law – but that’s not the case at all. No one from the ISP is accused of specifically downloading an infringed song. But, because they might have profited from it, the industry claims they’re at fault. As the ISP points out, this would be impossible to police. More importantly, though, they point out that they don’t actually make any additional money from all this since they (like the vast majority of ISPs) offer flat rate pricing for people to use as is. In fact, they tend to lose money on those who use up too much bandwidth downloading songs and, if anything, have incentive to get those people off their network.

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