Big Content providers and the French music industry have managed to get the French government to go along with an insane plan that is going to require ISPs to monitor p2p file sharing and in effect become internet cops, cutting off people’s access if the ISPs decide that they’re illegally sharing or downloading copyrighted content.
The problem is that this is going to cost everybody, not just those doing the alleged illegal activity. This is because of several reasons.
1, the ISP’s are going to have to use manpower, time and computing resources to inspect each and every packet of traffic on their networks looking for copyrighted material. These costs are going to be passed on to consumers so that everybody gets to pay for them to try to stop something that they’re not going to be able to stop.
2, Once an ISP finds a user sharing or downloading what they suspect is copyrighted content they’ll contact the user and give them warnings to stop. This is going to cost even more time, manpower and other resources in the form of additional staff to do the job, training, office space, etc. Then if the ISP doesn’t think that the warnings are doing any good, they’ll simply axe that user’s internet access. This will lead to a loss of revenue which will also be passed on to the customers in the form of higher rates in an attampt to make up for the customers that get axed.
Honestly, this fight by “Big Content” and organizations like the RIAA, MPAA and others is a losing battle. All they’re going to accomplish is to give incentive for people determined to share files to come up with ways to do so that they cannot detect or stop.
Already Bittorent applications are starting to be developed with an ability to encrypt their data exchanges. What will the greedy copyright zealots do when p2p finally manages to move it’s exchanges completely under their radar and become un-detectable.
Oh, and lets not forget the impact that having *ALL* of your internet traffic monitored wil have on your privacy. Yeah, I know, this is happening in France and the rest of us need not worry. The problem with this particular kind of insanity is that it’s contagious and since governments and large organizations and corporate entities are all infected with an insane lust for power and control this madness WILL spread unless something is done to stop it.