UK record labels’ association BPI have reached an agreement with major internet service providers (ISPs) and government on measures to help significantly reduce illegal filesharing.
Following negotiations facilitated by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), BPI on behalf of hundreds of UK record companies big and small has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK’s six largest internet service providers. The Motion Pictures Association of America and BERR have also signed.
The Memorandum places joint commitments on the signatories to continue developing consumer education programmes and legal online services. Most importantly, for the first time ISPs will be required to work with music and other rightsholders towards a “significant reduction” in illegal filesharing.
To achieve this, in the first year hundreds of thousands of informative letters will be sent by participating ISPs to customers whose accounts have been identified by BPI as being used illegally. In addition, under the auspices of Ofcom, the signatories will work together to identify effective mechanisms to deal with repeat offenders.
Alongside the Memorandum, BERR has today published a consultation on proposed new legislation requiring ISPs to deal effectively with illegal filesharing. It is anticipated that the outcome of this consultation will provide a co-regulatory backdrop to the Memorandum.
In this context, one of Scotland’s most prolific music pirates was jailed for more than three years earlier this week.
John Croy was convicted of three offences by Dumbarton Sheriff Court. He was given three custodial sentences of three years two months, which are to run concurrently.
Police raided Croy’s home in August 2005, finding 12 computers, 6 laptops, 79 external hard drives and about 6,500 discs, containing more than one million MP3 files. The BPI claimed that Croy supplied master discs to other major counterfeiters in Scotland.