Disney Joins NBC And Viacom In Demanding UK ISPs Kick File Sharers Off The Internet
from the sorry,-bob dept
While Disney is quite often painted as the leader of the pack when it comes to ridiculous and draconian copyright-related proposals, much of that can be attributed to former CEO Michael Eisner, who helped push for the Bono Copyright Extension Act to “protect” Mickey Mouse. Eisner, famously, loves to talk about the history of intellectual property law — though, he’s almost entirely wrong, attributing much of copyright law to Abraham Lincoln, who had nothing to do with it. After Eisner left, Robert Iger took over, and for a while, it seemed as if he might actually understand that he needed to learn how to embrace new technologies and not treat users as criminals.
Apparently Iger doesn’t fully believe that, though. Joining with previous statements made by the folks in charge of NBC Universal and Viacom, Iger was recently in London saying that ISPs should ban users who are caught downloading unauthorized material. While UK ISPs have agreed to send out industry warning letters, so far they’ve resisted banning users from the internet. Iger, however, thinks that’s not enough:
“We are simply asking for people who are downloading illegal files to get a warning initially then to get their service cut off.”
He then falsely suggests that ISPs are effectively relying on their content to be effective. This is the lie that Big Content likes to tell itself. That it’s really Hollywood content that gets people online, rather than communication tools or other content. But to Iger, the internet’s main purpose is apparently to distribute Disney’s content:
“Most distribution businesses succeed because they have a distribution process in place. They also have product. We contribute to that mightily. It is a joint partnership.”
No, actually, it’s not a partnership. Disney’s using the internet as a platform because that’s what customers demand. If Disney doesn’t like it, it’s free not to bother — but everyone knows that wouldn’t make much sense. And, then, of course, Iger (the same guy who said the entertainment industry should recognize that file sharing was just customers showing content companies what they wanted) falsely equates copyright infringement to “stealing.” So much for Disney taking the high road.