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Can Someone Explain Why It Should Be An ISP's Responsibility To Deal With File Sharing?

from the it's-a-simple-question dept

Last week, we noted that there was some draft legislation in the UK making the rounds that would have ISPs ban people found to have participated in unauthorized file sharing. Some people responded by saying that this was just a draft and there was no chance it was going to go anywhere. However, the UK's Culture Secretary Andy Burnham is now saying that the government is quite serious about pushing this legislation through, and that ISPs would be wise to implement such a system voluntarily before the government acts: "Let me make it absolutely clear: this is a change of tone from the Government. It's definitely serious legislative intent." What he doesn't make clear, however, is why it should be the ISPs' responsibility to prop up someone else's business model. What's next? Will they push automakers to fight back against bankrobbers who use getaway cars?

Filed Under: business models, file sharing, isps, liability, uk


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  1. identicon
    TriZz, 22 Feb 2008 @ 12:25pm

    It's really not that hard to understand...

    ...or maybe I'm over simplifying it, to which point, this is the Internet and my fault will inevitably be pointed out.

    I would like to think that IF I used your website as a means to post cryptic comments that would eventually lead the reader or decrypter to a drug deal, that would invoke a permanent ban from posting on your site.

    It's a service that you're providing (free or not) and I'm sure there is a TOS in place somewhere (I don't feel like searching).

    Wouldn't that be similar? Even though TechDirt would NOT be liable for the drug deal that happened as a result of my messages, you certainly would not want me back to your site.

    Perhaps that's why the ISPs should deny illegal file sharers access to their networks. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding? I only read the summaries...I mean, isn't the government only implementing something that should be in place already?

    I ask because a friend of mine got busted for 'seeding out' a movie that was still in the theaters (I am Legend) and his ISP sent him an email saying that they know what he's doing and if the activity doesn't stop by X date/time that they would cancel his service and no longer provide access for him (which I don't think is all that harsh, I mean...It's better than a gynormous fine).

    So, if the ISPs in the UK are being lax about filesharing (unlike my friend's ISP) ... is it really THAT big of a deal that the government steps up. Illegal filesharing is still illegal (not stealing) ... and it is the Government's place to uphold the law of the land, or have I missed something?

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