Music Industry and ISPs join forces

People who illegally download music would have their telephone and internet services cut off under a radical new plan proposed by the music industry.

Fed up with falling sales, the industry – which claims Australians download more than one billion songs illegally each year – has been discussing tough new guidelines with internet service providers (ISPs) since late last year.

Record labels, music publishers and other copyright holders are involved.

The value of CDs sold in Australia between January and March this year fell by more than 20 per cent – from $100 million to $80 million – compared with the first three months of 2006.

The industry is now targeting those who repeatedly download music without paying.

Sabiene Heindl, general manager of the music industry’s piracy unit MIPI, said record labels could trace people who illegally downloaded music via so-called peer-to-peer websites such as LimeWire.

They could also identify which songs were being illegally swapped.

“We can tell the ISPs the time and date people were engaging in this conduct, and what song was being downloaded,” she said.

The music industry is lobbying for a “three strikes and you’re out” policy to enforce their copyright.

“Under this system, people who illegally download songs would be given three written warnings by their Internet service provider. If they continued to illegally download songs, their internet account would be suspended or terminated.”

Ms Heindl said research showed 18 per cent of Australians engaged regularly in file-sharing, downloading an average 30 songs a month illegally.


Related Links: Music Industry Piracy Investigations