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The Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) have reiterated that ISPs should not be responsible for any illegal file-sharing that takes place over their networks, especially via peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic. A Spokesman for ISPA maintained that ISPs should not be “set up to play judge and jury” over alleged copyright infringement.

This comes shortly after a Belgian court claimed that Scarlet (formally Tiscali) – had the technology to block possible copyright infringement material from being sent via P2P sites, and had six months in which to do this.

John Kennedy, CEO of music industry body the IFPI praised the Belgian court saying “the internet's gatekeepers, the ISPs, have a responsibility to help control copyright-infringing traffic on their networks”

The courts decision which is likely to be challenged, sets a precedent in European law.  However, it will not be repeated in the UK anytime soon, according to telecoms lawyer Danny Preiskel of PreisKal & co; “I think we are a way away from reaching a similar decision in the UK in imposing such liability,” he added that such a case in the UK would be "fiercely resisted" by ISPs.

The spokesman for ISPA continued by saying “ISPs shouldn't be set up to play judge and jury. What we wouldn't want is corporate censorship. Any kind of censorship of the internet has to be at the government level - ISPs are not law enforcement. We understand that ISPs play a part in combating instances of illegal activity on the internet, which is why we engage with rights holders and work with government authorities on that basis but we wouldn't say we're the gatekeepers of the internet. The people responsible for unlawful content going up on the internet are the people who put it there.”

Do you think ISPs should be controlling P2P content or is it a government issue? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

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