Thursday, March 26, 2009

A different shade of Orange

As their response to the government's Digital Britain report, Orange have offered to build a lovely broadband network and, more interestingly, shouted "oi, no" in the face of proposals for a rights agency to police intellectual property online:

[L]ike many ISPs, it stresses that "the real key to combating unlawful file-sharing and copyright infringement online is (a) education and (b) the development and popularisation of legitimate and compelling content distribution business models."

As James P pointed out, this is the same Orange who sends out those terse letters to alleged unlicensed file-sharers at the request of the big record companies.

Indeed, it seems that even this, Orange is now feeling queasy about:
"This proposed solution, which is still strongly advocated by the music industry despite public statements to the contrary, cuts across basic principles of common law, user rights and ISPs' legitimate commercial interests and would fail a straightforward cost-benefit analysis," Orange said.

To be fair to Orange, the ISPA did push back fairly hard on some of the demands from the BPI, even if in the end it accommodated some of the less wild-eyed ones.

And they're clearly not about to take a digital cop scheme without a fight, either:
As for the idea of a rights agency funded by industry, which would be backed by legislation against persistent illegal file-sharers, the company told Carter it "does not think it is appropriate for it to fund a rights agency that would only be to the benefit of the rights-holders. This would ultimately become an 'anti-piracy tax' on all consumers, whether or not they infringe. Orange does not understand why one industry should be asked to fund the protection of another industry's commercial interests."

Unless by sending out warning letters, of course. But that's more about keeping the record industry quiet than policing their rights.