Saturday, June 07, 2008

BPI To Issue Warning Letters Through Virgin Media

UK ISP, Virgin Media has agreed to work with the BPI, which represents the interests of the UK recording industry, to send out warning letters to subscribers who the BPI has identified as sharing copyrighted material. The saving grace is that they will not be adopting the draconian ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy that was previously advocated by the BPI.

‘The Register’ claims to have obtained samples of the letters that will be sent by Virgin and the BPI to suspected copyright violators. They shy away from the possibility of disconnection, ‘We don’t want you to face legal action or risk losing your internet service.’ The letters identify the differences between legal downloads and file sharing copyright infringement.

This initiative may be seen by some as defending copyright and by others as King Canute trying to stop the rising tide. Reality is that it is merely sticking a plaster on a gaping wound. The BPI must ask itself what is the business model it is trying so hard to protect and how it value is communicated to the market? All the major producers are selling their catalogues many different ways and even enable the customer to get it free via ad paid model. What sort of message does that send out re the value of the material? The producers still get revenues, the advertisers have to pay, but the consumer sees ‘free’ and can’t appreciate the value of the copyright. The music producers have a track record of bad customer relations and bad communication and appear to be walking down the same road once again, others should know better.

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