Internet Users Banned for Violating Copyright Law?

Looks like the major labels have latched onto a new strategy to combat illegal P2P usage: Use internet providers to do the dirty work. As reported by the Times UK this week, the UK is in the process of adopting a law that would require ISPs to close the accounts of customers who use P2P sites like Limewire to violate copyright law.

Under this law (which has already been enacted in France, by the way), users would get warnings under a “three strike” system. If the user continues to conduct illegal downloads, the ISP will then proceed to deny the user access to the Internet. Of course, such a law has certain inherent problems, not least of which is who pays the legal bill if the users decide to sue the ISP.

But you can rest assured that major labels in the U.S. are watching these developments closely. If it works there, the obvious next move would be to enact similar legislation in the states. One gets the sense that the majors are grasping at this concept in the same fashion that a drowning man eyes a life preserver. They love the idea of having ISPs police themselves. As one industry insider (U2’s manager Paul McGuinness) stated recently in his now famous address to the MIDEM conference in Cannes: “I call on them (the ISPs) today to start doing two things: first, taking responsibility for protecting the music they are distributing; and second, by commercial agreements, sharing their enormous revenues with the content makers and owners”.

If the industry can get its act together with this concept, it may buy itself a rebound from falling sales due to illegal downloading. After all, what parent is going to allow their kid to download music illegally if it will mean having their Internet access cut off? Of course, whether this works or not, it still remains to be seen whether the industry as a whole will be able to fully adopt to the new digital music marketplace.

I’m sure we’ll ALL be watching this one very closely…

1 Response to “Internet Users Banned for Violating Copyright Law?”

  1. February 14, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Nice blog.

    Like the way u express things.


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