UK ISPs and the music industry agree to act on piracy – strongly-worded letters on the way

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feed-a-musician-music-piracy.jpgThe extermination plans have been finalised – six of the UK’s largest ISPs have agreed to crack down on music piracy by, er, sending out some letters.

The deal, partially negotiated by the government, will see “hundreds of thousands of letters” sent by ISPs to their users who are currently sharing a massive folder of music with who ever else happens to be using the internet at the same time.

BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse have signed up to the stern-letter-sending programme, something that Virgin’s already been doing for some time – although it also promised that it wouldn’t go as fas as disconnecting file-sharers.

The BPI still wants the net connections of repeat offenders eventually terminated, although, being businesses making money, the ISPs aren’t so keen on that part of the deal. Which means we have to ask the stupidest question of the week – is a strongly-worded letter enough to stop everyone in the UK nicking music off the internet?

If the letters don’t work, “a compulsory levy on ISP users to compensate the music and film industry for lost royalties” is one possible regulatory option…

(Via BBC)

Related posts: Virgin’s letter plan | It might cut people off

Gary Cutlack

3 comments

  • Given the average newspaper reader now has a stock of coasters made up of free DVD’s and CD’s from paper based giveaways how does the media industry expect to keep the public aware of the cost of music.

    Prince and McFly recently released there new albums via a newspaper for free. Coldplay gave their album for free via the web. All are hoping it will result in increased tour revenues, people buying premium versions or back catalog stuff later. They may be right, but as these big name artists are giving music away you can understand how Joe Public thinks all music is free.

    Personally I think I’ve only bought one music CD this year, not due to downloading but because I really don’t give a hoot about talent show wannabee’s who will vanish in a flash, or need yet another greatest hits collection by someone who hasn’t released anything new, just chosen a different “best of” selection. Of the current Top 40 I recognise 12 artists, and 5 are those are with “best of” collection.

    The Music industry needs to nurture new talent, and musicians need to be paid for their work, but at the moment the nuturing does not seem to be happening, it seems the industry is too busy concentrating on the quick TV tie in / cash in to see the long term gain.

    Or I’m just getting old and it’s all noise to me.

  • The last thing in the world the music and film industry wants is a levy for lost royalties. Oh they may say they want it and even believe it. I personally hope they succeed in getting in bot in the states too.

    That levy would open them up to any online user they try to take to court whipping out their internet bills and showing the court they pay for this content every month with the levy listed right here.

    The idea almost makes me giddy. I would love a return to the days of early Napster, before anyone thought it was a bad idea. The only excuse holding most of us back is the threat of lawsuits. If they start charging everyone, the gloves come off.

  • This won’t make consumers buy more music, it will make them listen to less.

    This in turn makes many label artists redundant, marketing drives more expensive and gigs more or less vacant without the former. We’ll go back to listening to the same six proven bands on rotation and lose all of the natty little acts and one hit wonders that have cropped up since the dawn of filesharing that we otherwise wouldn’t have cared to know the damnedest thing about.

    They’ll still be losing money, one way or the other.

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