ISP’s to Combat Music Piracy

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Today it was announced that Internet Service Providers have finally agreed plans with the music industry that will aim to tackle piracy online.

The Shelf first discussed the proposed plans back in February in an article titled ‘Government Turns Up Heat On ISP’s and Online Piracy’ which discussed how the government was steadily growing impatient with ISP and the music industries failure to come to such an agreement, threatening that if both parties failed to come to agreement legislation would be introduced to curb online Music Piracy

Negotiated by the government, the deal has seen BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse all sign up and will mean hundreds of thousands of letters could now be sent to users suspected of illegally sharing music online.

The music industry is pushing for measures that would see users who ignore written warning having their connections disabled; however ISP’s are unwilling to enforce such measures.

The plan is “a first step, and a very big step, in what we all acknowledge is going to be quite a long process” said Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of British Music Rights.

In contrast to the US which has seen thousands of lawsuits launched against alleged file sharers, over the last couple of years the BPI has been focused on educational efforts to prevent music piracy online, with limited legal action being taken against copyright infringers.

As part of the deal, drawn up by the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR), ISP will be expected to ensure customers realise that file sharing online is illegal, and take measures to tackle repeated infringements.

The government is still considering plans to give ISPs a legal requirement to tackle copyright infringers.

Recently BT and Virgin have been reported to have been sending letters to customers on behalf of the BPI, a controversial move that many say puts the BPI in the role of net police, a role they don’t belong in.

It is currently he BPI who works out who it thinks is illegally file sharing by trawling file sharing websites and tracing back the IP addresses of users.


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