More on the enforcing piracy debate: the four majors have sued Irelandís leading ISP Eircom, demanding that filtering technology be deployed to combat illegal downloading of music. Eircom unsurprisingly protest and ask how they will be able to tell whether traffic is copyrighted or not without first of all looking at potentially innocent userís traffic data. There are ways to narrow this down beyond reasonable doubt for many networks but they are typically labour intensive and not an explicitly integrated part of the filtering implementation. It’s worth noting though that this specific case covers filtering, which is related to but technically seperate from enforcement and, to some degree, from policing.
Filtering can be implemented without monitoring traffic. But savvy users can find ways round filtering, which could mean that the hardcore sharers are left largely unaffected.
There is clearly a strong case for finding common ground and for ISPs and content owners to work as the ‘partners’ they publicly claim to be. Common ground typically infers a degree of compromise, which brings us back to the issue of finding cost and time effective solutions which bring genuibe benefit to both parties.