Record companies are bothering ISPs about file sharers again

2 September 2013

illegal-downloading The BPI, representing all the record companies, are organising a meeting with PM David Cameron on 12th September in a bid to, once again, go after ISPs.

They want to see the ISPs signing -up to a scheme which will see them handing over details of those who are downloading music illegally.

BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk have been asked by the BPI and British Video Association to sign up to a voluntary code to create a database of file sharers, however, it doesn't seem likely that the ISPs will want to annoy their customers, so this'll probably fizzle away like all previous attempts.

Again, the 'three strikes' rule is being floated, where customers will be sent some letters advising them to legally download things, before a final warning of some kind of sanction and "ultimately prosecution."

Virgin and Talk Talk are both resisting the collection of user data, with Talk Talk pointing out that this kind of activity is dubious under the Data Protection Act.

"We are involved in discussions about measures to address illegal file-sharing and ultimately would like to reach a voluntary agreement. However our customers' rights always come first and we would never agree to anything that could compromise them,” said a spokesperson for Talk Talk.

Over at Virgin; “Music and film companies are speaking to broadband providers about how to address illegal file-sharing but what they're currently proposing is unworkable."

TOPICS:   Technology   Privacy   Cool Stuff


  • Dick
    As before, if they sign up to this then customers that do it will just leave and go to a company that doesn't join.
  • klingelton
    spotify. fair deal. £10 a month (or free in some cases) for nearly all the music I could want. It's legal. The artists get a fair share (in comparison to radio royalties) and it's available offline.
  • Spencer
    Can anybody suggest a genuine way that has a possibility of ebbing piracy? Seriously? The billions that has been wasted chasing this down thus far and it has solved nothing. Napster, audio galaxy, limewire/kazaa, P2P... everything they target just moves the technology along and creates hardier weeds that are more difficult to kill. Taking down and blocking sites just moves service to a mirror/proxy IP. At the moment there are still several ways that data is shared and, I cannot see them all being completely shut down any time soon. As Dick quite rightly said, by forcing ISP's to monitor and squeal on their customers, they lose customers which just pushes the pirates away onto another ISP. The end result is that 'compliant' ISPs have fewer customers and piracy is still just as rife through another provider. Even if the data protection act was changed, and every ISP was forced to do this, there are still several simple ways around it. I'm genuinely intrigued to see if anybody can suggest a workable viable solution to tackling this issue?
  • Spencer
    @Kingelton I understand your point BUT: £10 a month vs £0 a month...? Or better yet, rather than pay £10 to spotify, you can pay as little as £6 to certain service providers that will give you unlimited access to all the music, games, movies, apps, mags and books you can possibly want? I don't blame anyone for trying to provide a legitimate service, however it isn't really 'competing' or offering any sort of value.
  • Spencer
    I would be prepared to pay for a legal torrent/nzb 'all-you-can-eat' kind of a service, but, because the industry has to maintain such substantial profits... I don't think they can provide that kind of a service at a price tempting enough to 'go legit'... I support the developers and artists I enjoy by actually purchasing games, DLC etc. As a former signed musician myself please - if you want to support a band, buy their albums and/merchandise when you go see them live. I have so many cd's of bands I've never even opened, I just D/loaded it, loved it, listened to it for months, went and caught them live, and bought the CD from the merch stand outside. That's the best way to support them as they don't pay distributer costs which are normally the ones taking the biggest cut.
  • Jim
    Spencer, I think there's a number of factors that influence whether people go legit or not. I'll illustrate it with the most pirated media of the moment Game of Thrones. Only HBO in USA and Sky (not Virgin, etc) in UK get the episode, some countries don't get it at all. In the UK it is something like 16 hours after the USA premier. Anyone who doesn't want to or can't afford the £258 minimum 12 month subscription to Sky to watch it (and not keep it) will turn to piracy rather than wait a year for it to come out on DVD costing a £35. So really you need the media to be: 1. Convenient - be able to buy it from your TV and watch it right away 2. Available - you want to be able to release it globally at the same moment (maybe even let people pre purchase and pre-download ala the Steam gaming service) 3. Reasonable priced - for rental or keep 4. Transportable (you want to be able to watch it on your smart TV, your android tablet, your iphone and your PC like you can with pirated media) I'm certain that HBO would make more money overall if they offered everyone the world over GoT for £10 a series to keep, available on demand on the moment it aired.

What do you think?

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