The Battle Over ISPs: RIAA, BPI Working Both Sides of the Atlantic

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If only those unruly ISPs could be controlled, instead of running wild over the lawless internet.

Of course, the issue is far more complicated than that, though not for major label trade groups like the RIAA and BPI.  Both are continuing to apply pressure on their respective governments to slap a leash on ISPs and curb piracy in the process.

In the UK, the BPI is pushing for amendments to the Digital Economy Bill that would force injunctions against sites and ISPs suspected of enabling piracy.  According to documents first reported by the Register, punitive authority ‘would be granted when an ISP had refused to take down infringing material,’ though due process appears absent from the approach.  The amendment is now fodder for further debate, and ISPs, search engines, and other parties are unsurprisingly opposed to the BPI proposal.

Back in the US, the RIAA is fighting a more difficult fight.  Instead of three-strikes debates and anti-piracy initiatives, the RIAA is struggling to score cooperative agreements – and ultimately gain more control – over access providers.  Now, that fight is overlapping with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and an ongoing debate over net neutrality.

Earlier this week, the RIAA lobbied the FCC to consider the effect of piracy on internet bandwidth.  “We have a particularly strong interest in ensuring an internet in which media applications – which, unlike file-sharing applications, have a low tolerance for network delay – can function smoothly and without the network congestion caused by piracy-inflated traffic,” the group relayed.