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European ISPs under pressure to attack IP piracy

NYTimes writer ERIC PFANNER reviews the growth of restrictions to protect copyrighted material in several European countries link here. He starts with the involvement of French President Sarkozy.

"Last month Mr. Sarkozy outlined an aggressive proposal to crack down on Internet piracy of music and movies. Under the plan drawn up by a government-commissioned panel, Internet service providers have put aside their objections to cooperating with copyright owners in the fight against illegal file sharing."

"If legislation to enact the plan is approved, the service providers will work with a new, independent authority to identify pirates and warn them to stop. People who ignore the warnings can face suspension, and eventually termination, of their Internet accounts."

"In return for persuading the service providers to crack down, French media owners agreed to remove some of the digital strings they have typically attached to their works. That could allow service providers to enhance their digital music stores and other online content offerings, generating more revenue from them."

Pretty clearly, the ISP's are going to be under growing pressure to fight piracy, including perhaps the use of filters and the monitoring of heavy traffic. France is not alone, as similar pressure has been growing in Britain, Sweden, and Belgium, according the Pfanner.

As far as I can see, there seems to be no disposition to question the whole basis of copyright as inhibiting innovation rather than promoting it. Or to realize that performers and companies can change their business model to prosper without depending on copyright.


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