The European Commission wants internet service providers (ISPs) to help fight the battle against online copyright theft according to a confidential document from April seen by Reuters. The document suggests that getting to the problem at its source should help create a more effective policy.
"The Commission will propose amendments to the (IPR) Enforcement Directive in order to create a framework allowing, in particular, combating infringements of IPRs via the internet more effectively.
These amendments should tackle the infringements at their source and, to that end, foster cooperation of intermediaries, such as internet service providers."Confidential European Commission Document
Of course, many countries already have policies in place which require co-operation from ISPs. In the UK, legislation has been put in place such that ISPs will have to send 'copyright infringement notices' out to customers who have been identified as taking part in unlawful file sharing activities and will also have to pay 25% of the costs of this process and an appeals structure that has been set out by Ofcom.
Similar laws have been in place in France through an anti-piracy agency known as HADOPI. Around 5000 letters are sent out per day to suspected file-sharers by the agency but a survey by the French government of 1500 people indicated that only 3.5% of users had stopped using file-sharing whilst 1.5% had cut back. One wonders therefore how successful the system actually is.