By Dennis O’Reilly
Is it appropriate for ISPs to block their customers’ access to the Internet because the music or movie industry accuses the users of illegally sharing copyrighted material?
Following WS contributing editor Becky Waring’s May 7 Top Story on the matter, we heard from readers both for and against the new policy, which is gaining strength in legislatures around the world.
Imagine receiving a letter from your Internet service provider threatening to cut off your network access because a representative of the music or movie industry claims you’ve violated copyright by sharing a file without permission. In last week’s story, Becky points out that Comcast, a major U.S. ISP, says it has sent more than 2 million such letters at the behest of the media industry. In other countries, even stronger measures are being adopted by governments.
Rob Martell takes issue with the process:
- “I appreciate the article, but I am appalled that the RIAA (MPAA, too) gets away with the tactics it employs. Why are governments bending over backwards for this one industry? And they are apparently still suing people, from the last Ars Technica story I saw.
“Where is the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ bit in there? It isn’t — no due process, no trial, just the suspicion, that’s all it takes. I’ve heard the French law is having troubles, however [according to a May 6 USA Today article], but still. The truly appalling bit is that this snooping is condoned just for this industry.”
- “I just finished the article by Becky Waring and was disturbed by the final paragraph. It was an excellent news article until it took a pro-piracy position. I would think the correct response would be that if you’re concerned about the privacy of your Web downloads, don’t steal.