TalkTalk responds to Bono's "outrage"

January 7, 2010 | 10:32

Tags: #bono #copyright #digital-economy-bill #file-sharing #three-strikes #wall-street-journal

Companies: #talktalk

U2 songsmith Bono made headlines recently with comments that accused ISPs of not doing enough to stop the sharing of copyright materials on their networks - something at least one ISP strongly denies.

As reported over on IT Pro, Bono's comments in a Wall Street Journal piece - supposedly about ten ideas the U2 frontman thought would be big in the next ten years - opined that claims from ISPs to be like "the post office" ferrying sealed "brown paper packages" were nonsense - citing "America's noble effort to stop child pornography, not to mention China's ignoble effort to suppress online dissent," as evidence that "it's perfectly possible to track content" and prevent the sharing of copyrighted music and video.

The comments have angered ISPs, with TalkTalk - an ISP already known for its opposition to the government's Digital Economy Bill, which looks to introduce data transfer limits and a 'three-strike' system to disconnect persistent file sharers - executive Andrew Heaney saying "the U2 frontman is seriously misguided" equating "the need to protect minors from the evils of child pornography with the need to protect copyright owners."

In a post to the official TalkTalk blog, Heaney stated that "to suggest that sharing a music file is every bit as evil as child abuse beggars belief," and accused Bono of not grasping the technicalities of the issue or "how simple it is to access copyright protected content without being detected."

While Heaney admitted that "P2P file-sharing can be spotted (albeit at great cost)" he also pointed to the "dozens of applications and tools out there which allow people to view content for free" with no hope for the ISP to ever detect the infringement.

Heaney has also launched a petition against the Digital Economy Bill - specifically its ability to summarily disconnect those accused of sharing copyrighted content without permission - which has gathered almost 31,000 signatures - an upwelling of support sadly lacking for Bono's comments.

Do you agree with Andrew Heaney that asking ISPs to police their users for copyright content with the same vigour they would child pornographers, or is Bono bang out of order with his inflammatory statements? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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