A new proposal put forward by the government here in the UK could see people who log on then illegally download music and film may have their internet access cut. This would mean that ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) would be required to monitor actions by users and of course take action when a P2P style software operation is detected.
Currently, around six million of the UK population are estimated to be downloading software illegally, via a number of different means (which I won’t name here for obvious reasons). One of the reasons put forward by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is that it is aimed to reduce piracy to bolster the UK’s creative industries.
Various Internet service providers such as Tiscali, Virgin and BT have already been in talks with the entertainment industry to voluntarily police online activity for acts of piracy but so far no agreement has been reached on the best way forward.
Of course, there are various difficulties in ensuring that someone is being prosecuted for the crime they have committed. In the case of piracy, if there is more than one computer in the household, or if someone has ‘piggybacked’ a connection, how can the authorities be sure that they have got the right person?
Of course, as ISP’s don’t actually host the content, one has to wonder how responsible they actually are for the activity that is taking place. That might seem like somewhat of a cop-out for the music industry et al, but that’s the way it is. Perhaps if download costs were lower (or more attractive in other ways) then less people would feel the need to download.