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Record labels and other rights holders will have to shoulder much of the financial burden of the UK’s upcoming graduate response program to curb illegal file sharing, also known as “three strikes.” Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms said this week that rights holders will have to […]

Record labels and other rights holders will have to shoulder much of the financial burden of the UK’s upcoming graduate response program to curb illegal file sharing, also known as “three strikes.” Digital Britain minister Stephen Timms said this week that rights holders will have to pay 75 percent of the costs associated with the new anti-piracy measures, according to a report from paidContent: UK. Previous plans called for rights holders and ISPs splitting these expenses 50-50.

How much this will impact the bottom line of record companies depends largely on how vigorous they’ll be in pursuing file sharers — and that seems to be very much the idea behind shifting the costs. Lord Clement-Jones put it this way while introducing an amendment to the original Digital Economy bill this week: “We need an incentive for creative copyright owners to make jolly sure that they get their facts right when they start prosecuting subscribers.” In other words: Making the process expensive could help to reduce the amount of questionable infringement notices.

The UK’s Digital Economy Bill is meant to reduce P2P piracy by booting infringers off the Net after a number of warnings issued by rights holders. Details of the bill are still up for debate, with paidContent counting close to 300 proposed amendments.

One issue that has been hotly contested are the costs related to this type of enforcement, which is also known as “three strikes and you’re out.” An executive of BT recently complained that the enforcement would cost ISPs £365 million ($589 million) a year — a number that raised some eyebrows, given the fact that the country’s music industry only claims to lose £200 million a year to piracy.

However, the music industry is disputing those estimates. Trade group BPI published the results of a study it commissioned this week, estimating that the measure will cost ISPs merely £13.85 million during the first year, with costs going down to £3.45 million during the third year. Of course, those estimates were based on the originally proposed idea of ISPs and rights holders splitting the costs 50-50. We’ll have to wait and see whether BPI’s perspective will change now that it might have to cover the majority of these costs.

  1. They should not only carry 100% of the cost burden but suffer HUGE automatic penalties if they don’t succeed in court with those penalties going to those they sued and an equal amount to defend those attacked by this use of government thugs to go after Joe Public.

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  2. [...] UK ISP TalkTalk Vows To Fight P2P Lawsuits British ISP TalkTalk, who has four million customers after having gobbled up AOL U.K. and Tiscali U.K. in recent years, has vowed to not divulge any customer information to rights holders in pursuit of alleged P2P infringers, according to a report from Torrentfreak. TalkTalk also said that it will fight orders to throttle or disconnect customers that haven’t been convicted of a crime — a stance that could prove to be the first challenge for Britain’s proposed Digital Economy bill. [...]

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  3. [...] The response makes clear that it’s not the ISP’s job to monitor illegal file sharing, but the rights holders who must proactively seek out infringers. “Under the legislation, it is the rights holders who will identify cases of alleged copyright infringement, not the ISPs,” the government writes. Rights holders will also have to cover much of the financial burden, paying 75 percent of the costs associated with the new anti-piracy measures. [...]

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  4. [...] P2P site administrators. Entertainment industry executives have in the past also pressed for so-called three strikes graduate response programs, which would force ISPs to disconnect file sharers from the Internet after three offenses, but [...]

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  5. [...] P2P site administrators. Entertainment industry executives have in the past also pressed for so-called three strikes graduate response programs, which would force ISPs to disconnect file sharers from the Internet after three offenses, but [...]

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