MIPI: RIAA piracy win puts pressure on local ISPs

Australia's MIPI (Music Industry Piracy Investigations) is pressuring local ISPs to shut down customers illegally downloading music following the successful trial of a woman in the US by the RIAA for music sharing which resulted in a $US220,000 ($AU244,000) guilty verdict.

MIPI is claiming that 18 per cent of Australians are illegally downloading music, at an average of 30 songs a month. While the organisation has not yet targeted individuals for prosecution, they may do so soon, following its unsuccessful attempts to convince ISPs to send warning letters to infringing users, and then disconnect them from their Internet service.

The IIA (Internet Industry Association) responded to MIPI by saying it didn't feel that ISPs should be responsible for monitoring its users. In a letter to MIPI, IIA said it believed it was up to the courts to decide who was an infringer saying "the distinction between an infringer and an alleged infringer has been raised as an important legal standard which ought not be undermined by us."

In response MIPI said, "We would hope that the ISPs and the record companies could come up with an alternative solution. That said, if that solution cannot be reached, and at this stage it's because of the ISPs refusing to play ball, then we may have no alternative other than to take legal action."

The MIPI was restructured in 2005 to combat piracy by educating consumers, but a recent study conducted by Qantum revealed that this strategy isn't working as hoped. It showed that people under the age of 25 are illegally downloading an average of 54 songs on file sharing networks each month, which is up from 32 songs per month in 2003.

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