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UK ISP EntaNet Calls for Digital Rights Rethink to Tackle Piracy

Posted: 01st Sep, 2009 By: MarkJ
Network operator Entanet UK has warned that the current methods being used to track and identify illegal broadband ISP file sharers ( IP tracking ) are "unfair and inadequate" because they are a flawed means of identification for individuals. Instead the provider is recommending a total re-think of how digital rights are managed and controlled by the entertainment industry.

Darren Farnden, EntaNet's Marketing Manager, said on the ISPs Opinion Blog:

"This is not going to be easy of course as, in order to make a film, video or piece of music a success, you need to find a way to make it available. At the moment, once a user has it in their possession in the form of a file that they can play back, stopping them from copying that file and / or sending it elsewhere is very difficult.

In essence, the very thing that makes a song or video popular – the ability for it to be shared – is also the problem. It is really the same problem that we have always had with the Internet in that it removes barriers and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to control the spread of information and bar entry to markets.

This though, has also been one of the main benefits of the Internet – it has created truly global markets, removed the barriers to entry for smaller and more innovative companies, and made information (as well as video and music) much more freely available to everyone."

Entanet promises to act on every notice of a possible infringement they receive, though they are deeply concerned about the growing potential for "individuals or firms to be wrongly accused of [ILLEGAL] file sharing". Much as we've said before, IP addresses can easily be hijacked, spoofed, redirected and generally abused; they are not a reliable form of identifying individuals.

Farnden concludes:

"We don’t pretend have the answers at the moment – and quite clearly nor do governments or the film and music industries. But to place all the onus on the ISP and to adopt a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ approach to people who might or might not be file sharing, is wholly wrong and, in the long run, a strategy that just won’t work."

The operator suggests that one possible solution might be some form of extended licensing or Performing Rights Society (PRS), which extends its reach to just about everyone and makes it possible for the entertainment industry to open up its content. That kind of setup would also require new distribution models to take account of modern channels and the nature of customer demand.

Sadly, despite all the moves into online video, many elements of the old TV and FILM industry remain dominant. We are still forced to visit the cinema to view the latest film release and still asked to pay higher than plausible prices for a lot of online content (although SOME music is more affordable now).

To use a quote from Entanet: "Whatever holders do, if people want to watch a film, video clip or listen to a piece of music enough, they will find a way to do that." The solution for rights holders should then be obvious, deliver services that fill that gap and do it at a reasonable price.
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