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IFPI's Draft Code of Conduct For ISP's
By: MarkJ - 12 April, 2005 (12:56 PM)

The International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) have put together a worrying new 'Code of Conduct' for ISP's, with the aim of helping to prevent illegal file sharing:

Here's a sampler. Under the new code, ISPs would put in place filtering technology to block services and/or sites that "are substantially dedicated to illegal file sharing or download services". They would retain data beyond what law enforcement agencies require, with the aim of helping track down copyright infringement. They'd hand that data, plus your identity, over to the IFPI or MPA if there was even a complaint - not a court order - against you for, you guessed it, copyright infringement. (And you'd have signed or clicked something agreeing to allow that.)

Want more? According to the draft, the duo want ISPs and network operators to "enforce terms of service that prohibit a subscriber from operating a server, or from consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth where such consumption is a good indicator of infringing activities." A summary of the draft can be found at the Electronic Digital Rights site's latest EDRIgram.

No doubt that last quote in bold will have some readers feeling a little concerned, along with a few ISP's that won't like the idea of giving up personal details to just any old Joe. Thankfully the ISPA isn't happy:

"This is obviously something they [IFPI and MPA] have worked on together," ISPA's spokesman almost spat. "They have made proposals like this in the past but that doesn't necessarily mean they have gone anywhere. They should really be going through the established takedown procedure. Some of these proposals contravene current laws and go beyond others. If you take the example of requiring subscribers to allow their identities to be given out - that's something that ISPs take very seriously, and only when required to by law enforcement. And they aren't a law enforcement authority."

The Register's summary is a worrying indicator of what could occur in the future. It's one thing to stop and deal with illegal traffic; it's another to point the finger of suspicion at anybody that doesn’t fit the idealistic mould.

Perhaps anybody owning a video recorder should be fined because there’s a slim chance that such ownership could result in illegal activity? Not a good way to go.

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