Feeds

Film industry turns up P2P heat on Carter

Hardens enforcement stance

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Updated The UK film industry today backed the record industry's long-running campaign for laws to force ISPs to cut off persistent illegal filesharers from the internet.

At a conference in London today, a coalition including Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the UK film sector's copyright enforcement body, will aim to put pressure on the communications minister, Lord Carter. FACT will add to lobbying by its record industry counterpart the BPI for the government to impose French-style "graduated response" regulations on ISP, that end in disconnection if warnings are ignored.

The statement marks a toughening of the UK film business line on illegal filesharing. When The Register visited FACT's west London HQ in the summer of 2007, its enforcement chief said he didn't believe disconnecting users from the internet would be a proportionate response.

Today's intervention is timed as Carter finalises the Digital Britain report, due to be published in June. The report will set out final proposals to reduce copyright infringement via peer to peer networks.

The interim report, published in January, suggested a "Rights Agency" as a mediator between ISPs and copyright holders. This would allow them to share information and warn infringers, while stopping short of disconnection.

John Woodward, head of the UK Film Council, also part of the coalition making today's call, said at the conference that 800,000 jobs in the film, TV and recording industries were threatened by illegal peer to peer. His claim was backed by trade unions for workers in the creative industries.

In response, internet trade association ISPA, reiterated its view that copyright holders should focus on simplifying rules so peer to peer filesharing can be licensed and charged for.

"ISPA recognises that there is a problem with unlawful P2P file sharing, but it is important to recognise that a major part of the solution lies in licensing reform and the availability of legal content online," said secretary-general Nicolas Lansman.

"ISPA remains committed to working with the government and the creative industries to find a solution which balances the needs of all parties and is fair for consumers."

Talks to offer legal music sharing to Virgin Media subscribers via what would have been a groundbreaking joint venture between an ISP and the record industry broke down recently over licensing complications.

Despite copyright holders' intensified campaign for disconnection as a final enforcement measure, a move by the UK government to enforce such a regime on ISPs may face a block at European level. MEPs recently voted that cutting off internet access would require judicial approval - a condition that would make such sanctions against illegal filesharing impossible due to bureaucratic overheads. ®

Update

Following publication of this article, FACT got in touch to say that disconnections are not a policy priority. Instead it envisages education campaigns and "a range of technical measures" against persistent illegal filesharers. They could include bandwidth throttling or restrictions on particular protocols such as BitTorrent, a spokesman said.

He added that disconnection is not currently ruled out however.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.