IFPI Wants EU-Wide ISP Controls, EFF Raises Flags

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If music fans are always stealing online, then why not simply block illegal destinations and yank offending accounts?

The idea seems like heresy to most – including ISPs – though major content holders are pushing for more stringent controls.  Just recently, label trade group IFPI advocated strict, ISP-based controls in a memo to European lawmakers leaked by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The memo outlines a plan for limiting access to offending destinations, and cutting internet access to repeat pirates.  “Most ISPs do not take any steps to address the massive piracy on P2P networks,” the memo declared.  “Whatever the structure of the specific piracy problem, every person that accesses the internet must do so through an ISP, and each ISP has complete technical and commercial control over the traffic that is generated by their consumers,” the group continued.

Access providers have been staunchly opposed to excessive controls and monitoring.  The reason is that customers are willing to pay premiums for open internet access, and the abundance of media – free or paid – that comes with it.  That has traditionally been the end of the argument, though recent movements in France have challenged the status quo.  In late November, French lawmakers, content creators, and access providers announced a plan to revoke accounts for repeat infringers.  The move was applauded by the IFPI, among others, and may be motivating the broader, European push.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.