UK piracy surcharge to boot ISP subscribers offline

As many as 40,000 BT subscribers may have to give up their Internet connections due to the company’s anti-filesharing initiative that will cost upwards of £500 million per year.

The plan’s original estimate was £365 million per year, but the British government indicated that number would have to increase.

“We are confident that those costs will be a mere fraction of the stratospheric sums suggested by some ISPs,” The Times learned from a BPI spokesperson.  The fees are “negligibly small when set against their vast annual revenues.”


Anti-piracy initiatives in Britain have been considered out of control for some time now, as the music industry convinced the government that each download is the same as an individual song sale — which reportedly cost the industry £200 million in 2009 alone.

Informing each subscriber of piracy issues and the new anti-filesharing program will cost ISPs £1.40 per customer, while modifying accounts will add £25 per year to each subscriber’s bill, which some won’t be able to afford.

In 2008, the music industry was valued at £3.6 billion, a 4.7% increase from 2007.  The music industry has struggled to battle against declining CD sales, but has been successful in convincing music listeners to download online music.

Ironically, the British government — along with government officials in the United States and other nations — now attempts to bring as many citizens as possible online via broadband Internet connections.

I’m all for copyright holders trying to protect their best interests, but attempting to pay off and intimidate ISPs to do their dirty work — especially at the cost of subscribers — seems absolutely ridiculous.  British pirates already face possible banishment from the Internet if caught pirating numerous times, with some music, movie and game pirates facing legal repercussions.