The government are planning on bringing out a new organisation that will be in place to tackle the on-going Internet piracy issues that have been disregarding the copyright laws for years. The new organisation will be called the Rights Agency and will be aimed at those Internet users who use peer-to-peer networks to illegally download copyright content, such as movies, games and music.
The move comes after an attempt was made to voluntarily bring together the ISPs and those holding the rights to the content with a solution to suit each party. However, this attempt was deemed a failure and so the Government has decided to take the matter into their own hands.
Along with the introduction of the new body, the Government will also be bringing in new codes of practice which will be coordinated with the Ofcom regulating organisation.
If the plans, drafted by Lord Carter, the UK communications minister, do come into effect, the effect will be that the ISPs will be forced to regulate the use of illegal downloading and sharing by taking a deeper look at the activities and behaviours of their users.
However, ISPs are clearly not thrilled about the possibility of having to bear down on their customers, more than likely spending countless pounds in the process, with the possibility of alienating innocent users.
Orange have spoken out about how they do not feel as though it should be their responsibility to take action for such matters, saying that Orange as an Internet provider “does not accept that it has any existing legal obligation … to assist in the enforcement of private legal rights.”
“A fundamental flaw in the preferred regulatory option is that it seeks to cut the court – or any other independent review – out of the process and install the ISP as the arbiter of private rights as between the rights holders and users,” continued the spokesperson for Orange regarding the Internet piracy issues.
“Orange fails to see how a proper regulatory regime could even contemplate the imposition of the costs of enforcing private rights on innocent third parties – namely ISPs and consumers – which would be a courageous political move.”
However, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has said that the reaction to the announcement has been very mixed, some for the solution and some opposing it.
The new body must, however, be able to judge between those breaking the law and those innocent users out there as the BBC programme, Watchdog, has recently uncovered how innocent users have been wrongfully accused of Internet piracy. A new regulating body could aggravate this issue even further.