Japanese Internet users may find themselves disconnected if they use P2P software such as Winny.
If you thought that copyright infringement by peer-to-peer file sharing users was purely a western concern, think again. Japan's Telecom Service Association and the Telecommunications Carriers Association have joined forces to draft a set of procedures aimed at curbing the country's growing piracy rate.
According to the Daily Yomiuri
(don't worry – it's in English) the coalition represents around 1,000 providers of domestic broadband making it the biggest anti-piracy gathering in recorded history. The group aims to combat the use of peer-to-peer applications to trade copyright media, and it is thought that just shy of two million people in Japan use the file sharing program Winny
to do just that.
So far the scheme is the usual story of users being policed by their ISP, receiving sternly-worded warnings if their connection is used for illicit purposes and cutting their connection should the naughtiness persist. File sharers who ignore even this rather extreme step would find their contract terminated, although it isn't yet clear whether they would be free to sign up with a different ISP should this happen.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time that Japanese ISPs have toyed with the idea of policing the use of file-sharing applications. Around two years ago one of the largest Japanese ISPs introduced an automated system to drop connections that were using the Winny P2P software, but this plan was dropped after the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry warned that the scheme smacked of “snooping
Presumably, with so many ISPs and industry groups signed up to the project, this latest incarnation has found a way around that particular complaint.
Would you ever consider using an ISP that openly policed what you used your connection for, or should ISPs get on with providing an Internet service free from restrictions? Share your thoughts over in the forums