Report from the ISP Future Content Models and Enforcment Strategies Summit 2008, Kensington, London 7/8 July 2008
In light of today's announcement by the UK government, the words of Kiaron Whitehead, legal counsel for the BPI, are ringing a very sombre tone. Speaking at the ISP Future Content Models conference, just 2 weeks ago, he outlined a 3 strikes proposal, and made it clear that the BPI is prepared to sue ISPs who don't comply. His words certainly put a different complexion on the word 'voluntary' - it is about as 'voluntary' as the press gangs that a couple of centuries ago found ' recruits' for the army.
Here are some excerpts from his presentation:
'ISPs have an obligation to work with us. The government must help facilitate that process.'
'The debate is no longer about whether something should be done, but how it should be done'
'ISPs have a legal responsbility to enforce... first an educational letter, second temporary suspension, third cancel the account. Ultimately, it may be possible to implement a technical solution. ISPs need to test implementing that technical solution. For ISPs who refuse, we are left with one option - litigation.'
'The government will assist us in one, talking; and two, putting in place legislation to ensure that ISPs are clear as to their responsibilities.'
'Evidence (against users who are alleged to have infringed copyright) has to stand up to rigorous testing. The BPI evidence collection is robust'.