Measures against internet piracy have been adopted by countries such as the UK (with the Digital Economy Act) and France (with their three-strikes systems or HADOPI), and some of their regulations propose tempering with an infringer’s internet account to the point of total disconnection. Rights holders, however, come with another solution: financial penalties.
According to Ofcom’s Initial Obligations Code (read more here about the revised version of the code), internet providers are to send out warning letters to internet accounts that are suspected of conducting illegal activities. Furthermore, repeat offenders could face the full extent of the law, as ISPs are allowed to send their personal details to rights holders. Also, internet providers could temper with an infringer’s download/upload speeds, and even disconnect him or her from the internet. This last measure could be introduced if warning letters prove to be inefficient in combating online piracy.
We’ve also mentioned France’s HADOPI (also known as the three-strikes system), which is quite similar to UK’s DEA. French activists have been against HADOPI since the beginning, and argued that internet disconnection constitutes a brutal display of power. In return, rights holders have come up with a different approach. From a TorrentFreak report we found out that groups such as the Union of Independent Phonographic Producers and SACEM, both supporting France’s music industry, suggested that this ultimate measure (internet disconnection) should be replaced with a fine of 140 euros (£120). Warner Music was also fond of the idea, and said:
“There has not been a lot of repression. This part of the mission has failed. If we consider that downloading is illegal, it must be punished, it is not a novelty. I think a system of fines would be more proportionate,” Thierry Chassagne, Warner Music’s president, said.
The proposal is now under France’s politicians scrutiny.