ISP Will Protect File-Sharers From Music Industry Disconnection Threat

After getting an "unbelievably rude letter" from the British Phonographic Industry which demanded that ISPs disconnect file-sharers from the internet, the UK's third largest ISP, Talk Talk, is in fighting mood. "Talk Talk rejects music industry threats and refuses to become internet police" says their statement.

The BPI has been writing to all the major ISPs just lately, on the subject of unauthorized file-sharing. The BPI wants ISPs to work with them to disconnect persistent file-sharers from the internet. Trouble is, like most music industry bodies, the BPI think that muscle flexing and posturing will get them the results they demand. Not so.

When Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC went to see Charles Dunstone, CEO of Talk Talk owners Carphone Warehouse, he didn’t find a happy man. Speaking of the BPI, Dunstone said: “They’ve sent us the most unbelievably rude letter” . True to form, the demands from the BPI carried a threat – comply in 14 days or face legal action, something which has not been well received by one of the UK’s richest men. “Talk Talk rejects music industry threats and refuses to become internet police” said a statement.

Dunstone says he won’t tell his customers what they can and can’t do and believes that the BPI is attempting to force him to pay for their failure to adapt to the digital revolution. “The music industry has consistently failed to adapt to changes in technology and now seeks to foist their problems on someone else,” said Dunstone. “Rather than threatening us, the BPI’s time would be better spent facing up to the reality of our times and adapting its business model accordingly.”

Of course, the BPI aren’t just going to leave it at that. Hitting back with a statement of its own it said: “Talk Talk either seek to misrepresent our position or just doesn’t get it.”

The BPI says that it doesn’t want Talk Talk to become the internet police, rather it wants the ISP to act on evidence it supplies about file-sharers. “It’s not true that we are threatening them or asking them to become the internet police” said the BPI. “In fact, what we are looking for is a progressive partnership that will ultimately create new services for their customers. But clearly they must begin to address problems of illegal downloading on their networks.”

Dunstone says he will fight any attempts to force him to cut his customers off from 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 wrongdoing.” he said.

Labeling them as “unreasonable and unworkable”, Talk Talk has responded in writing to the BPI, rejecting their proposals in full.

So, well done to Charles Dunstone – this should further increase your profile and boost Talk Talk’s popularity somewhat. Now, if you could please stop throttling P2P traffic, that would be wonderful. Get in touch – you can break the news here on TorrentFreak…

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