Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

Unhappy with the UK government's proposals for "persistent letter sending", the UK music industry re-records it calls for graduated response. The comments give meaning to the "cooperation" amendment in the EU Telecoms Package.

 

Graduated response won't go away easily. The British music industry made it clear that it isn't happy with  the UK government's decision not to  cut people off the Internet as a sanction against copyright infringement. It wants to see more action from the UK government on copyright enforcement and its repeated its call for graduated response at a UK Parliament seminar this week.

Speaking at the Westminster eForum on Taming the Wild Web, Richard Mollet, director of public affairs for the BPI (the UK's  IFPI member) said:

 

"Legislation requiring ISPs to act is a welcome step, but we need   a bold stride. What we need is ISPs to take more responsibility, to work with industry on a system of graduated response, so that the infringer not only gets a letter, but gets a warning, and yes, he or she might even have their account suspended."

He continued: "Graduated response is

a fair and proportionate way of dealing with copyright infringement ane ensuring that it doesn't continue"

 

Further, in response to a comment from the chair (Roger Darlington, from the Ofcom consumer panel)  that "things are going well", Mollet said " I apologise unreservedly if I gave the impression that things are going well. The situation is unsustainable, especially in respect of copyright".

He also stressed that "self-regulation isn't going to work in terms of copyright infringement, which is why we have to legislate to make ISPs do something". Purely voluntary measures won't work, he said. 

 

Mollet's comments are interesting in respect of the bigger picture and the international drive by content industries for online copyright enforcement. For example, the EU Telecoms Package, where the British music industry has supported the French lobby in trying to get in amendments related to copyright. Although some changes have been removed by the Council,  Amendment 112 to the Universal Services directive, [Article 33(2a)] which calls for "cooperation" between the ISPs and the content industries for copyright protection, remains in there. 

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Iptegrity in brief

 

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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The politics of copyright

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