Singer/songwriter Billy Bragg has been a top spokesperson for the Featured Artists Coalition, a group of UK-based musicians that includes Radiohead, Kate Nash, Robbie Williams, David Gilmour, Travis, and many more. Though their main purpose is “the protection of performers’ and musicians’ rights,” the FAC has been very public of late in their defense of music pirates. What they want to avoid, you see, is a Lars Ulrich-esque debacle where fans get disgruntled for being persecuted over being too eager to get at their favorite band’s music.
In a column for the Guardian, Billy Bragg addressed the issue of whether internet service providers should be required by the government to cancel a suspected pirate’s service. Bragg says that the recording industry is trying to “get the ISPs to do their dirty work for them,” adding that the alleged criminals wouldn’t have “any recourse to appeal in the courts.”
Bragg goes on to say that this practice is “shameful” and likely ineffective. “Technology has so far stayed ahead of enforcement,” he added. “Any unauthorised filesharers who fear being caught out can simply encrypt their exchanges.”
The question over the efficacy of enforcing copyright law through ISPs could possibly be answered by paying close attention to France in the coming months. Just last week, the French government passed a controversial “three strikes” law, forcing ISPs to disconnect music pirates upon their third infraction.