Do ISPs Have A “Duty” To Stamp Out Piracy?
Helienne Lindvall at the Guardian asserts that ISPs must play their part in stamping out piracy. Her argument is that despite the convictions against the Pirate Bay, the site is still very much online. Likewise, contrary to the efforts of the courts to shutdown LimeWire, a few vigilant souls have restored the client.
To her, this signals the need for ISPs to become more actively involved in enforcing piracy convictions. Often, this argument grows into a back and forth about how ISPs shouldn't be charged with the task of being web police. Then, there's discussion of how it gets decided which sites should be blocked and how easily that could be influenced by special interest groups. These topics are overshadowed by the notion that piracy can be magically stamped out in the first place. But, as the RIAA would contend, that's not really the point. The idea is to make it as difficult as possible to do. That way, fans would be deterred from engaging in the act. Do you think ISPs should block sites and would it turn out how Lindvall hopes? Or would there be a number of unintended consequences?
"intermediaries such as internet service providers have to take more responsibility. Once a court has established that a site is committing illegal activities, the ISPs should have a duty to block that site, using technical methods that are similar to those used to protect against viruses, so that it wouldn't be an invasion of personal privacy. Without the co-operation of the ISPs and other intermediaries, even a conviction by the supreme court is toothless when it comes to the internet." (Read on.)