ISPs Asked to Compile "Downloader's Database" of Music Thieves

By Gary Cutlack on at

The BPI and the major UK record labels are meeting at Downing Street next week, to see what more can be done to dissuade piracy in the UK. Top of the list is pushing a scheme that asks ISPs to voluntarily track illegal downloaders to make their prosecution easier.

The Guardian reports that the BPI and British Video Association have been talking to the big UK ISPs for months, asking them to join a voluntary scheme that would help police downloads. This would fill an enforcement gap that currently exists due to delays pushing through the controversial Digital Economy Act.

The BPI's asking ISPs to voluntarily build a database of the worst downloaders, creating a file that could, potentially, be used to throttle the speeds of repeat offenders, send them threatening letters and, ultimately, prosecute them. The Data Protection Act might stop this ever becoming a reality, though, as this sort of mass data harvesting for a laugh may be illegal.

A spokesperson for TalkTalk confirmed the above, saying: "We are involved in discussions about measures to address illegal file-sharing and ultimately would like to reach a voluntary agreement. However our customers' rights always come first and we would never agree to anything that could compromise them." [Guardian]

Image credit: Music downloads from Shutterstock