Internet Firm Rejects Music Piracy Charge


Super Moderator
Staff member
The broadband provider Talktalk has slammed a proposal for tackling music piracy as "futile" and says it could be an invasion of privacy for its customers.


Singer Lily Allen has spoken out about the billions lost due to music piracy

The Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music has published recommendations on how to charge internet service providers for the amount of pirated music that passes through their networks.

The levy is an attempt by British songwriters and composers to control the widespread downloading of free music.

Singer Lily Allen has previously spoken out against file-sharing and her calls for increased protection for artists have been backed up by fellow musicians including James Blunt and Gary Barlow.

But Talktalk told Sky News Online: "It would require monitoring of traffic and this has huge implications in respect of directives on privacy and data retention.

"It's profoundly unfair - it is like making a bus company responsible for shoplifters who use their buses to get to the shops.

"It is futile since people will switch to undetectable methods e.g. encrypted sercices, streaming."

The broadband provider suggested that the big music labels and film studios need to develop a different business model which encourages people to access content legitimately and pay for their products.


There are many illegal file-sharing sites available online

They added that it should not be up to them to dictate to their customers how to control the piracy.

While no amount has been specified for the fee, PRS for Music said the levy would be paid either to the state or the music rights holders and would adjust in proportion to piracy levels.

Will Page, chief economist at PRS for Music told Sky News Online: "What has worried me with the Digital Britain debate was that this critical question, of how do you allow A to progress but not at the expense of B, was never being asked.

"What's ironic to me is that there are lot of players in the game who have a foot in both camps - who own connectivity industries and have invested heavily in intellectual property rights.

"I think they'll find this contribution both insightful and long overdue."

However, it seems that piracy could go on unhindered as long as no solution is agreed by both internet service providers and the music industry players.