Ideally, the IFPI wants every ISP to act as the Internet police, by restricting their customers access to websites they claim are facilitating copyright infringement.
So far, the IFPI has had little success with their lobby, that’s probably why they decided to put legal pressure on the ISPs. “We believe that ISPs have a special part to play in this and must help us. The discussions we’ve tried to have with the ISPs haven’t led anywhere,” IFPI’s Managing Director in Sweden, Lars Gustafsson, said in response to their recent announcement.
The IFPI claims to have studied several ISPs practices, but according to Lars Gustaffson they intend to focus on one particular company which they claim facilitates filesharing on the Internet. One of the services they hope to stop is their nemesis, The Pirate Bay.
Gustafsson was advised by his legal team not to disclose the name of the ISP yet, but many people think the ISP Bahnhof will be the most likely target, since they are recommended by the pirate community because of their high stance on integrity.
“The ISPs don’t believe they have any responsibility to help when it comes to hindering filesharing,” says Lars Gustafsson. IFPI already sent out letters to several service providers, urging them to start monitoring their customers and filtering websites.
Most ISPs refuse to cooperate with the IFPI though. Last month, Telia Sonera, a large Swedish ISP responded to the IFPI’s request by stating that such actions are illegal under EU law. Norwegian ISPs later responded with similar arguments.
On the other hand, the IFPI claims that restricting access to filesharing sites might actually benefit ISPs. “Illegal P2P file-sharing may have helped drive broadband subscriptions in the past, yet today these activities, particularly in respect of movies, are hogging bandwidth,” they state.
Thus far, the IFPI has won in Denmark. In February, a Danish court ordered the ISP ‘Tele2’ to block its customers from accessing The Pirate Bay. The decision is currently under appeal, and the Pirate Bay recently announced that they will demand compensation for the block.
To be continued…