ISP wants BPI to STFU
In response to the demand by the British Phonographic Industry (doesn’t the name speak volumes?) that ISPs should disconnect illegal music file sharers, Carphone Warehouse Group CEO Charles Dunstone, speaking for the group’s TalkTalk division – the UK’s third largest ISP, has issued an irate press release.
BPI had menaced the ISPs with government legislation if they do not comply ‘voluntarily,’ which strongly suggests the fix is in with the regulation-mad Brown regime.
‘Our position is very clear,’ Dunstone said. ‘We are the conduit that gives users access to the Internet, we do not control the Internet nor do we control what our users do on the Internet. I cannot foresee any circumstances in which we would voluntarily disconnect a customer’s account on the basis of a third party alleging a wrong doing.
‘We believe that a fundamental part of our role as an ISP is to protect the rights of our users to use the Internet as they choose. We will fight any challenge to the sanctity of this relationship with every legal option available to us.’
Right on, Charles.
Update - 10:45 4th April
Geoff Taylor, the BPI chief exec, has wasted little time in producing his riposte. Here it is copied directly from the BPI website:
In claiming that the music industry is asking it to become the “internet police”, “impinge customers rights” or “restrict freedom to use of the internet”, Talk Talk is either seeking to misrepresent our position, or just doesn’t get it.
At the heart of this issue is ensuring that creators are fairly rewarded in the digital age, and we passionately believe that working in partnership with ISPs to develop first class, safe, legal, digital music services is the way forward. But such a partnership can’t succeed if an ISP refuses to do anything to address the problem of illegal downloading on its network.
Contrary to Talk Talk’s claims, passing advice on to their customers is not “unreasonable” or “unworkable”. We are not asking ISP’s to act as the police. We are asking them to act on information we provide to them.
Talk Talk claims it is their role to “protect the rights of their customers to use the internet as they choose”. We strongly disagree on this point when that usage is illegal, and the government’s position in this area is also clear. We believe that any socially responsible ISP should, as a core part of its business, put in place steps to help their customers avoid engaging in illegal activity, and deter those who knowingly break the law.
We firmly believe in an internet where property rights are respected, and creativity is fairly rewarded. This will grow our digital economy, which is in the interest of all of us. Talk Talk should play its part in building this future.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executivehttp://www.bpi.co.uk/isp-partnership