File-sharing focus shifts to ISPs

By Derek Sooman on
In the UK, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has taken the fight against illegal music sharing on the Net to the next level - they have asked the Internet service providers Tiscali and Cable & Wireless to suspend 59 accounts used for illegal file sharing. This is a change in established stance for the BPI, as up until now they had focused on individuals, rather than other firms. Now this appears set to change.

Currently, the BPI can identify which service providers have customers breaking filesharing rules, but only the actual ISP can find out who the customers actually are. Therefore, the need for the BPI to engage the support of ISPs is paramount if a large number of prosecutions are to be made, or if the activities of a large number of file sharing individuals are to be curtailed.

The BPI advocates that this move will help the record industry to deal with a greater number of cases of Internet file sharing aided piracy, in a manner that is quicker and more efficient than before. The BPI will supply ISPs with unequivocal evidence of copyright infringement via their services, and then expect the ISPs to put their house in order.

"We have said for months that it is unacceptable for ISPs to turn a blind eye to industrial-scale copyright infringement," BPI chairman Peter Jamieson said in a statement.

"We will take whatever steps necessary to put the matter right," said a C&W spokesman.

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