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Sky Agrees To Disconnect Pirates, Says Rightsholders Should Pay

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BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) is going against other leading ISPs by supporting the government’s proposal to add account suspensions to a list of “technical measures” waged against illegal downloaders.

Unlike BT (NYSE: BT) and TalkTalk, which this week opposed the plan, Sky is in the unique position of being both an ISP and, with several own-brand TV channels in its portfolio, a content maker.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ minister Peter Mandelson’s recent consultation proposed that Mandelson would grant Ofcom the ability, after freeloaders are sent warnings, to order ISPs to enact measures against their customers, without waiting to see whether the warning system alone works.

In its submission – seen by paidContent:UK – Sky agrees with the proposal as a “final resort”, but says “due process must be followed” and an “impact assessment and proportionality test” must be applied in each case.

Sky wants an independent “judicial or quasi-judicial framework … to ensure that consumers have an appropriate and effective appeal mechanism at all stages of the proposed procedure (from letter writing to technical measures)”.

And it wants a cap on the number of warnings a transgressor would receive before facing technical measures – effectively a number of “strikes”.

But it’s disagreeing with Mandelson’s proposal that costs for the whole system should be borne 50/50 by both rightsholders and ISPs, arguing ISPs would have to pass on the costs to innocent customers…

Costs should be borne by the beneficiaries