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March 15th, 2008

Japan to disconnect p2p users

Four major Japanese ISP organizations have agreed that they will work with copyright holders to track down copyright infringing file-sharers and disconnect them from the internet. The reason for such an act would probably be a huge increase in complaints from the music, movie and software industries.

According to the report in Yomiuri Shimbun, the agreement would see copyright holders tracking down file-sharers on the Internet using “special detection software” and then notifying ISPs of alleged infringers. ISPs would first send out warnings by email to those traced and then interrupt the Internet connection if file sharing continues. For persistent breaches, the ISP would ultimately terminate the accounts of its subscribers.

These four major ISP organizations – which include Telecom Service Association and the Telecommunications Carriers Association – are made up of around 1,000 other ISPs, a large portion of the Japanese market. In collaboration with the copyright holders, the ISPs will set up a panel in April to decide exactly how the system should operate.

In 2006, a Japanese ISP decided to plan measures to stop their subscribers using file-sharing software, by tracking their activities and disconnecting them from the Internet. The plan didn’t come to fruition as the government stepped in and said that such monitoring might have privacy implications. Under huge pressure from the movie, music and software industries, the four major ISP organizations in Japan are at it again, and have agreed to take drastic action against online pirates. There is a discussion surrounding the suggestion that persistent file-sharers could be banned from the internet. So far there have been proposals in countries like France, the UK and Australia.

During December last year we reported that the number of internet users file-sharing in Japan had increased by a 180% in a single year.


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