A while back, when UK Music was being berated for suggesting that people be thrown off the internet for filesharing, Feargal Sharkey denied that anyone was saying any such thing.
Now UK Music are, erm, saying that people should be thrown off the internet for filesharing. PaidContent reports:
In its submission to the business minister’s recent consultation on his new suggestions, seen by paidContent:UK, UK Music - representing labels group BPI, AIM, BASCA, MPA, MU, PPL and PRS for Music - supports adding suspension to a list of “technical measures” which Ofcom would direct ISPs to carry out after transgressors receive warnings about their habits.
So... that meeting last week when musicians decided they'd rather support throttling than suspension? Seems to have been totally ignored. But it's not like the people who make music have anything to do with managing copyrights, is it?
UK Music is also supporting Mandelson’s proposal that Ofcom should investigate how to implement these “technical measures” (which would also include bandwidth throttling) now, rather than wait to see if a system of warning letters reduces piracy by 70 percent, as Stephen Carter’s Digital Britain paper had proposed.
Yes, dammit. Let's just rush those proposals through as a package. After all, it's easier to get people to swallow a 'something must be done' proposal, even if it contains something potentially illegal and undemocratic - if the idea of throwing families off the web because of something someone may have done had to fight for acceptance on its own, the stench of people burning their Undertones records would become a danger to public health.
There's still no proposal of anything that might make this sound a little less like Victorian factory owners arbitrarily handing out punishments, though: no suggestion, for example, that there should be anything even approaching due process before these actions are put in place.
Astonishingly, UK Music also seem quite muddy about what sort of process they want at all:
UK Music says a “limitation on the volume of notifications” is not “advisable” since “the number of notices generated by rights holders will inevitably be limited ... given the costs involved in identifying infringers and presenting evidence”. The group wants an “escalation in tone” of warning letters.
Splendid - in other words, the record labels will be able to not only act as judge and jury, but also to make up the rules.