James Bates, media director at Deloitte says that Steady growth in the number of broadband connections around the world has allowed online piracy to spread and the increasing speed of broadband connections has made movie, television and software piracy feasible.
“Online copyright theft, therefore, is no longer confined to the music industry. And digital piracy has remained rife in spite of thousands of individuals around the world being prosecuted for personal piracy.
“The prospect of Internet users being disconnected for illegal downloads, is likely to lead to a decline in the number of casual pirates, many of whom were not entirely sure that their actions were illegal.
“Whereas some ISPs were accused of turning a blind eye to piracy in the early days of broadband, the highly competitive nature of the sector is likely to cause ISPs to identify and remove consumer pirates. Illegal file-sharers typically consume a huge amount of bandwidth, which can dampen network performance and reduce overall profitability. ISPs typically charge a fixed retail rate to customers, but their costs are variable. So a customer downloading a movie from the United States to the United Kingdom may incur significant marginal costs for the ISP.
“Technology, such as deep packet inspection, which enables ISPs to monitor what content is being downloaded, is likely to become more effective and more frequently used. This is also likely to help accelerate the process of identifying pirates, and may lead to swifter disconnection, or prosecution.
“The Department of Media, Culture and Sport recommendations reflect similar efforts in other countries – at the end of 2007, the French government announced proposals aimed at dissuading casual piracy by confiscating persistent offenders’ broadband connections. In the United States, a judge ordered one website that had been accused of enabling copyright infringement to begin logging user activity and to pass this data on to the plaintiff.”