In a long-overdue move, several of the Uk’s biggest net providers – among them British Telecom, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse – have signed up to a deal proposed by the UK government and the music industry to help tackle piracy online.
Hundreds of thousands of letters will be sent to net users suspected of illegally downloading music. Hardcore file-sharers could see their broadband connections slowed and will ultimately face the threat of legal action.
It has taken years for ISPs to adopt this view and it could be argued that such measures are too little too late, but it is at least a start.
I would ask everyone to bear in mind that the argument usually put forward by illegal downloaders that the major record companies are not financially affected to any substantial degree by such activity is a moot point; but more importantly, that music piracy hurts independent musicians and artists, too. These are the people who will suffer the largest detrimental effects, and without them, the production of truly great music will eventually grind to a very unwelcome halt.