UK Gov't Tells ISPs They Need To Play Copyright Cops For Record Labels

from the due-process-means-nothing dept

Back in February, we noted that the UK government was putting a lot of pressure on ISPs to “voluntarily” agree to act as copyright cops for the entertainment industry — sending out industry threat letters to users (often based on flimsy evidence) and even kicking off users who are “accused” of unauthorized file sharing three times (the infamous “three strikes”) policy. While the government backed off a little, saying that it was up to the industry to work out the details, apparently the “tone” has changed and the government is back to putting serious pressure on ISPs to cave in to entertainment industry demands: “The British government just put a gun to our head,” is how one ISP exec put it. That means they were basically told to give in or legislation would show up forcing them to give in. Chalk another one up for the entertainment industry lobby, effectively getting governments to protect an obsolete business model once again.

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Comments on “UK Gov't Tells ISPs They Need To Play Copyright Cops For Record Labels”

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PaulT (profile) says:

“kicking off users who are “accused” of unauthorized file sharing three times”

That’s the thing that really worries me about this kind of thing. As noted many times, the RIAA have sued the dead, people who don’t own computers and people who have never seen the files they were accused of sharing. Yet, we’re suppose to believe that they and their UK counterparts are capable of correctly identifying them now?

This will probably last until the first teleworker takes them to court for lost business after being falsely accused. Unfortunately, given the speed of trials that will take years. Meanwhile, the music industry will continue to decline because piracy isn’t their actual problem…

IANAP says:

Shiver Me Timbers

How will this plan put money in the RIAA pocket ? There must be more to the story ….. like get kicked off and pay a fine.
How is this sustainable ? Eventually everyone will be disconnected, but there will still be copyright infringement to battle – right ? By then the RIAA will just deduct the fee directly from your bank account, because it is too difficult to bother with due process and all.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Good points.

I think the points that the others make above are extremely valid.
If the entertainment industries themselves can’t even keep track of what they own, let alone what is legit, how could they ever possibly expect the ISP’s to do this?
It is preposterous.

If I owned an ISP, I would say sure, but only once the industry gives us the filters to check for these, and the instant it gives a single false positive, I will refuse to use it. Then I would set up many tests like those described above with legitimate torrents and such. Catches a single one of those, sorry, back to the drawing board for their filter. If the MAFIAA wants it, they should pay 110% of the bill, not the ISPs.
How could it ever possibly be legal to force an entirely different industry to pay for your own failures to adapt?
They must be buying politicians or something. Common sense alone defeats the industry on this one.

Shad says:

Monopolies have power to fight the government demands

Isn’t most of the country served by BTnet? If I understand correctly having a monopoly in service gives companies leverage to fight government demands as long as the economies of scale are large enough to prevent small startups from instantly taking their place. Who really wants to pay to lay thousands of miles of their own OC cables?

My point is, if the ISP situation is monopoly like and the government is making really stupid demands, it is easy for them to raise rates and send out emails to their customers explaining why they are raising rates and what the citizens can do about it (IE protest, write letters to the house of lords, ect). Explain that the government is forcing them to expand their bureaucracy and they have to pass the costs onto the customers.

I think the hard part is getting into a monopoly position in the first place.

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