The world of file-sharing is starting to look more like a confusing scenario. Lately entertainment industry has redirected their attack against ISPs bringing them to court. At the same time there are still college students not off the hook yet although the number of the individuals prosecuted could hardly mean anything more than a drop in the ocean.
Things are beginning to spiral out of control in the file-sharing world. ISPs are being sued by the entertainment industry, while apparently giving up on suing individuals. Some college students are still under the gun, however not nearly enough are facing prosecution to make any real difference.
A few days ago we reported what Irish ISP Eircom is up against at the moment (see Record Companies take legal action against Irish ISP: Objective – Music Piracy Filtering on our site).
The fact is (and increasingly more people tend to believe so) that the IFPI (and other industry trade group as well), are just twisting their mind what other people could it possibly sue. So far suing P2P developers was no good, suing individual file-sharers had the same outcome – so…who’s there left unsued?…Ha! We got it! The ISPs of course! Generally, the idea of installing anti-piracy filters did not appeal to the ISPs simply because they won’t work in due course. Why? Because even though a p2p transmission could be intercepted, found out to contain illegal material and blocked all these would actually give file-sharing technology the time to step forward to the next level.
Things seem to look brighter in this respect with the US file-sharers who are faring not so worse. Here ISPs were not so eager to impose a filtering of the unauthorized content mainly due to aforementioned reasons (excepting AT&T). As we also revealed in a previous article what Comcast has done with BitTorrent uploads was not called filtering the content but "delaying".
With the exception of AT&T, ISPs in the US have been generally reluctant to filter unauthorized material, largely for the reasons in the previous paragraphs. Comcast hasn’t exactly filtered content, yet they are "delaying" BitTorrent uploads. The upload gets a green light eventually but this delaying tactic proves to be sometimes just as efficient as filtering because the end user is easily put off.
Although Comcast seems to reconsider its policy the FCC doesn’t look willing to overlook Comcast’s initial lack of transparency.
As quoted by the Wall Street Journal FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said that "A hallmark of what should be seen as a reasonable business practice is certainly whether or not the people engaging in that practice are willing to describe it publicly."
And there is also the matter of the public who is now crossing their fingers for a practical policy in favour of net neutrality – just a simple fine won’t do.