Feeds

Dunstone vows to bash Tories on filesharing laws

And the record labels can shove their partnerships

Top three mobile application threats

TalkTalk boss Charles Dunstone has promised to continue his firm's campaign against laws meant to reduce illegal filesharing under a Conservative government, despite being friend of David Cameron.

Dunstone today hosted a reception within sight of Parliament as part of TalkTalk's "Don't Disconnect Us" campaign, aiming to attract MPs and officials. He told The Register it would continue after the election, denying any political aspect to his firm's attacks on the Digital Economy Bill.

"It's genuinely about the principle," he said, saying that he had not spoken to Cameron, his friend and Oxfordshire neighbour, about the issue. Last year Dunstone was part of Cameron's creative industries review panel and was tipped for a Tory peerage.

He also said he had no idea how much the proposed measures - which as well as suspension of internet access include written warnings and bandwidth restrictions - would cost TalkTalk, the country's second largest ISP.

The Tories support the Digital Economy Bill and have criticised the government for not bringing its disconnections and other sanctions against persistent copyright infringers forward quickly enough.

Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, attended TalkTalk's reception this morning, where the potential technical, ethical and legal pitfalls of the Digital Economy Bill were argued by groups including Which?, Liberty and the Open Rights Group.

TalkTalk has been by far the most vocal internet industry opponent of the government's plans, most recently scorning Bono's views on filesharing. Although rivals Virgin Media and BT registered their opposition officially during the Department for Business' consultation last year, they have done nothing to match TalkTalk's concerted public campaigning.

Dunstone suggested this relative timidity could be a result of their hopes of becoming paid content providers. He was blunt about TalkTalk's own plans in that area, insisting "it's not our job to sell music".

Amazon and Apple could do a good job of that, he said, strictly walking the traditional ISP line that they are mere conduits. The possibility of new growth by building its own licensed music download service in cooperation with record labels has meanwhile seen Virgin Media, for one, effectively abandon that creed.

Dunstone apparently feels no interest in making friends with the recording industry, charging it had "treated its customers so badly they have effectively gone on strike", and insisting it could never expect some lost revenues to return. He refused to be drawn on whether he had ever participated in illegal filesharing.

The combative tone from TalkTalk at the reception was slightly at odds with the Open Rights Group's more conciliatory approach. The group's executive director Jim Killock said political focus should in fact be on cooperation between ISPs and record labels, rather than on enforcement, to foster more attractive legal download services. It's clear TalkTalk customers won't be offered them.

The Bill itself is currently at the House of Lords committee stage. Killock expressed hope the pile of amendments so far tabled and several stages of debate remaining might delay it until after the election.

Perhaps Dunstone will have a word with Dave then. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.