ISPs reject online policing role in piracy row

Trade body doesn't want to disconnect users for sharing music online

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has hit back at calls from an alliance of creative industries in the UK to disconnect music file sharers’ internet connections.

Yesterday (May 12) an alliance of the creative industries called on the Government to enforce disconnection of persistent file-sharers as a measure to halt the distribution of copyrighted material.

But today (May 13) the ISPA rejected the suggestion, calling such a measure “disproportionate”.

According to BBC News, chiefs at the organisation disputed “calls from some elements of the creative industries for the disconnection of users or technological measures as a method of dealing with potential infringers of copyright online”.

The statement continued: “ISPA members have consistently explained that significant technological advances would be required if these measures are to reach a standard where they would be admissible as evidence in court.

“ISPs and consumer groups consider disconnection of users to be a disproportionate response, a view that was recently supported by the european parliament.”

Attempting to appease the situation, Barbara Follet MP, minister for the creative industries, told industry executives that they were looking at a system of penalties and threats of legal action.

But John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council, said that such steps do not go far enough and that the ISPs had to “put on a deputy’s badge”.

He added: “You can send out all the cease and desist emails in the world, but ultimately if there isn’t any sanction with some sort of threat of disrupted broadband, then the threats are empty and will be ignored. A graduated response which leads to pain for persistent piracy is the only viable option.”