The BPI’s latest wheeze is a deal with six large British ISPs (BT, Virgin Media, Carphone Warehouse, Orange, Tiscali and Sky) to send “hundreds of thousands” of warning letters to customers they think are stealing music. These are the same letters Virgin Media has been sending out already. (Not that Virgin Media can actually make their customers hate them any more than they do.)
This move is a stalking horse to a compulsory ISP music license, as first pushed by Feargal Sharkey and now by Billy Bragg. At which point no-one ever buys a CD or individual download in the UK ever again, as they will in fact have paid their fee. And the UK music industry never grows again. If only I could believe their suicide would work out so immaculately.
Update: The British government has a secret target to cut 80% of illegal filesharing by 2011, assuming they’re in power that long. One wonders by what process that goal was set.