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ISPs nominate UK record industry as top internet villain

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The behind-the-scenes row between broadband providers and the record industry over filesharing has turned public, with internet trade association ISPA nominating the BPI for its "Villain of the Year" gong today.

BPI

BPI boss Geoff Taylor.

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The ISPs are under pressure to make a voluntary deal with rights holders to disconnect persistent illegal filesharers. The government has threatened to introduce legislation in November if the pair can't agree.

It's obviously not going well, however. ISPA says the BPI makes this year's villain list "for its heavy handed approach against consumers rather than engaging in constructive dialogue with the internet industry when dealing with filesharing".

The BPI was unavailable to respond today. In December its chief executive Geoff taylor said: "The BPI has been seeking to persuade ISPs for more than a year that they should implement such procedures [disconnecting filesharers] but progress has been limited."

ISPA also named Conservative leader David Cameron as a villain of the last 12 months "for buddying up with the music industry and trying to appeal to a younger audience".

Cameron gave the keynote speech at the BPI AGM in July and promised to extend copyright term if record companies agree to "positive role models for young kids". More pursuant to his nomination, he also said ISPs should do more to help the BPI battle illegal filesharing.

Competitiveness minister Stephen Timms' nomination is notable in the "Hero of the Year category", "for leading the push to increase internet access speeds, paving the way for services such as high-definition internet TV". Timms' work has so far been limited to promising something called a "vision statement" on next generation broadband.

Winners will be announced on 14 March, and the full list of nominations is here, including a bizarre "Hero" nod for Facebook "for respecting peoples' browsing privacy". ®

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