ISPs End Anti-Piracy Talks With Entertainment Industry

Internet service providers in Spain have now ended all government mandated talks with the music and movie industry after earlier refusing to disconnect alleged pirates. The talks were supposed to reduce online piracy but the ISPs say this is impossible if legal alternatives aren't provided.

The president of Redtel, the ISP association consisting of Telefonica, Vodafone, Orange and Ono, has confirmed what some have been fearing since talks with the entertainment industry were suspended back in April. Miguel Canalejo said that negotiations with the Coalition of Creators to find some mutually acceptable ground for government legislation on illicit file-sharing, are finished.

The coalition, headed by SGAE and Promusicae, took the now-common stance of demanding that ISPs implement a “3 strikes” strategy for alleged online pirates, but this was rightly dismissed by the ISPs. The rights holders then came back with a new demand to throttle alleged file-sharers instead. The ISPs refused this request too.

According to Canalejo, the other major reason why negotiations broke down was the failure of the content providers to provide an attractive legal alternative to illicit file-sharing. “Piracy is not a phenomenon that must be pursued and demonized,” he said, while branding the currently provided legal alternatives as “derisory”.

To reduce piracy, the ISPs made the suggestion to the Ministry of Industry that it should create a portal to offer music, movies and games.

“Content providers should have a more entrepreneurial approach. They are defending a traditional distribution model and we’re creating a new business,” said Canalejo.

Noting that any changes should come through awareness and education, Canalejo said that negotiations with rights holder could only resume when the government becomes open about its plans for measures against file-sharing, adding that any measures must “protect Internet users and give legal certainty to ISPs.”

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