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BPI Applauds Governments Online Piracy Proposals
By: MarkJ - 13 February, 2008 (9:15 AM)

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has welcomed yesterdays leaked proposals by the government to legislate for new rules that crack down on those using the Internet to download illegal pirated movies and music (news):

BPI Statement: This is the number one issue for the creative industries in the digital age, and the government's willingness to tackle it should be applauded. Now is not the time for ISPs to hide behind bogus privacy arguments, or claim the problem is too complicated or difficult to tackle. It is time they started showing some corporate responsibility and partner with us to allow our digital creative economy to grow.

The BPI claims that roughly 6 million British broadband customers regularly use peer-to-peer networks to download music unlawfully. They believe that UK ISPs have "built a business on other people’s music" and paid nothing to the creators of that music.

In response we managed to extract some interesting comments from one of the country's largest ISPs, which has chosen to remain anonymous:

To use an analogy, imagine we run a motorway - we have cars that drive along our 'service' but we cannot stop them speeding. As a consumer group against speeding, you wouldn't expect them to try to attempt to block all fast cars that can speed from using the road? Many of those fast cars may well never break any speed limits. So whilst our intention is good (to ensure ALL our customers get a great service and use our services responsibly and legally, the onus is to the law enforcement bodies in place (and remember this is a civil issue, not criminal).

We cannot detect illegal traffic, unless we know exactly what traffic is illegal - it's a catch 22. Additionally with encryption and also many legitimate uses for P2P, the onus has to be on the rights holders to tell us who is sharing data illegally - if they then want the customer's details, we'll provide them under court order. This is the established position and will remain until legislation changes.

Several other providers have also told us of their distain for how the various music and film industries believe they have deliberately encouraged illegal downloading, claiming that ISP's benefit from it.

In reality this couldn't be further from the truth because their economic model always works best when people aren't downloading vast amounts of data. This increases the network performance and allows the packages to become cheaper and thus more attractive to more customers. Heavy downloading only forces the introduction of either higher prices or tougher and frustrating service restrictions.

We hope to summarise some of the comments into a bigger article shortly, keep your eyes peeled.

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