Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Are Eircom, NTL, Vodafone and Perlico getting the letters ready?

There’s a lot of coverage across the water today (including pieces in The Guardian and on the Beeb) about plans by UK internet service providers to send letters to customers they believe are illegally uploading or downloading music. It does …

Thu, Jul 24, 2008, 12:30

   

There’s a lot of coverage across the water today (including pieces in The Guardian and on the Beeb) about plans by UK internet service providers to send letters to customers they believe are illegally uploading or downloading music. It does not say if these will be strongly-worded letters or if other action will follow if the letters don’t have the desired effect.

As always with these stories, it’s interesting to note the spin from different publications. The Telegraph, for example, take the line that parents will be censured for all the illegal downloading done by their kids (parents, of course, would never have the time to download music).

And, just to ensure that illegal downloading really is in the ether over there, there’s a piece in The Independent about UK government proposals to charge broadband users an annual levy to allow them download as much music as they want to.

However, as the Guardian’s Charles Arthur notes on his blog today, this levy ain’t going to happen if the BPI have their way. Arthur was writing after the body representing UK record labels conducted a conference call this morning giving its spin on plans for The Letters, during which BPI chief Geoff Taylor said the levy was news to him.

As Arthur notes, “it still feels like the wheels are grinding exceedingly slow” on this issue, but they are moving. And it can only be a matter of time before Irish record label reps IRMA and the Irish ISPs come up with a similar plan. However, and correct me if I’m wrong here, I really don’t think a letter is going to suddenly change the situation. It’s simply yet another example of how the music industry’s business model has changed and how the industry has just not come up with a workable response or solution in time.

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