The BBC wants pirates cut off from the internet

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has said that ISPs should be doing more to prevent online piracy, and that serial offenders should have their access to the internet severely restricted or cut off altogether.

The statement was made in a submission to the Australian Government’s online copyright infringement paper, and BBC Worldwide has suggested that ISP some be pro-actively monitoring internet usage to identify “suspicious usage” that involves high volume downloads and the use of IP obfuscation tools. It is worth pointing out that neither of these things actually prove that someone is actually downloaded copyrighted material, and both situations could be happening for legitimate means that doesn’t break any law.

BBC Worldwide has cited the recent leak of unfinished Doctor Who episodes as a reason why more should be done to curb piracy, but should it really go as far as cutting someone off from the internet? UN reports from 2011 declared that disconnecting people from the internet is a breach of human rights (though it has yet to documented in official legislation), and even the UK government has declared that serial offenders will not be barred from web access.

As unethical piracy is, harsh restrictions like this is only going to ensure that pirates find better ways of masking their activity online. Instead of going after the people who download, wouldn’t it be better to go after the people who are making it available? That’s what the UK government seems to be doing. [PCPro]

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Tom Pritchard