I read with interest this latest News.com article
in the music and movie industry's efforts to regulate illegal file transfers. Yes, much of it is the same old stuff: Piracy must be stopped, yada yada. However, of interest in the article are these points (taken from the text)-
- A representative of the recording industry said on Monday that her companies would prefer to enter into voluntary "partnerships" with Internet service providers, but pointedly noted that some governments are mandating such surveillance "if you don't work something out."
- During a discussion at the Progress and Freedom Foundation's technology policy conference here, (Shira Perlmutter, a vice president for global legal policy at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) said one filtering solution would involve identifying particular files that are (or are not) permitted to be sent to particular destinations. That would be a "very tailored approach," she said.
- Let's say that AT&T and some of its larger rivals start to filter pirated material and demonstrate (at least to a first approximation) that it's possible, but one ISP does not. Look for the RIAA and MPAA and their political allies to ask Congress for a law that would transform theretofore "voluntary" agreements into mandatory ones.
Clearly the pressure is still on to enact direct ISP support of content monitoring and filtering, encouraged by government-supported progress in other countries, and followed up by U.S. government regulations that will cement such relationships. The content industries are working by the numbers, and the ISPs aren't exactly putting up a fight about it... they are just publicly stating that they do not want to restrict their customers' ability to get content, without being any more specific.
This reads like the writing is already on the wall, whether consumers want to face it or not.