On the Today program this morning, someone was saying that ISPs should be held partly responsible for movie and music piracy by their users, in the same way that a house owner should be responsible if the house was being used as a drug den.
But surely that’s the wrong analogy. People don’t in general upload the pirated material to the ISPs’ servers – they have it on their own PCs. Holding the ISP responsible is like blaming the local council because their roads were used to transport the drugs. Why not blame the electricity company that powers the PC?
The culpable ones, if any, are those who share material from their PCs. The media industries can’t sue all of them, though, so they have to find another scapegoat.