Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And will you foot the bill, ISPs ask labels

With the leak in The Times this morning of the document which reveals that the government might move to legislate if the ISPs and BPI don't stop bickering over filesharing, there's been an interesting move from the ISP's trade body, the Internet Service Providers Association.

If the music industry wants us to police filesharing, fine, they say... but:

ISPs are calling on the record industry to put its money where its mouth is on illegal file-sharing, by underwriting the cost of lawsuits brought by people who are wrongly accused of downloading or uploading music.

ISPA told The Register today it is worried about the cost to its members if users targeted by rights holders for copyright infringement turn out to be innocent. "We still need to establish the proof points," a spokesman said.

Which seems to be fair enough.

There's some doubt, too, about proposals for publication of a list of those who have been cut off for alleged filesharing. This, says the ISPs, is a privacy problem. The BPI - who have a humpty-dumptyesque delight in recasting anything they so choose, says not:
[A]fter an EU ruling on file-sharing data protection in January, the BPI indicated that it wouldn't want personal data to be shared.

But, of course, if the names of people disconnected aren't circulated, the cost of avoiding the privacy problem is that the "offenders" will merely switch to another ISP, rendering the whole thing pointless.