UK Gov. going IP-Bolshevik on ISPs?
The Government today published a strategies paper for the creative industry, ‘Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy,’ which signals a shift in the way the Government will approach the fostering and protecting of intellectual property – and in particular the role of ISPs in relation to copyright infringement.
The front page of the policy doc says –
Our aim is to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, support the pursuit of excellence, and champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries.
According to Laurence, The Government intends to achieve this with a two-pronged approach of:
- fostering creative growth through proposed initiatives such as creative apprenticeships and ‘find your talent’ and talent pathways’ schemes;
- safeguarding the resulting creative content by stamping out online copyright infringement.
Of course I like 1. But 2 gets me worried, especially when we move on to the operational plan, which aims (in the spirit of new labour privatization) to devolve IP policing to ISPs. Let’s put aside, for the moment, the fact that copyright does not protect creators or reward creativity. The new policy document actually focuses on the “creative industry“, so apart from the moto at the top, at least they’re honest. The problem here, specifically, is in dumping the liability in the ISPs lap.
For ISPs to enforce copyright laws, they need to do one of two things:
- Monitor every bit you consume and decide if its kosher (yikes!)
- Block every site they suspect might, on an off-chance, carry questionable content (eek!)
But hey, what’s the problem? Who needs Indimedia? You just sit down, relax, and watch the BBC, or Fox news. We’ll tell you all you need to know.
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