Government slams BPI

BPI letter to ISPs and MPAA was badly timed, the wrong tone and badly worded says Barnoness Vadera

A scathing, last minute letter sent by the BPI to the UK's six biggest internet service providers (ISPs) and the Motion Picture Association of America, prior to the recent agreement to tackle illegal P2P file-sharing, has come under fire from the government.

The BPI's letter, signed by chief exec, Geoff Taylor, was also copied to Baroness Vadera, the business minister and sent on the morning of July 23, the day the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was set to be signed by the BPI, the ISPs and the MPAA.

"BPI may determine that it is necessary to bring legal action against one or more ISPs under current legislation to protect its members' rights, notwithstanding any steps that may be taken pursuant to the MoU," read the BPI letter.

It added that "further action by ISPs is required" such as "blocking access to websites that procure and facilitate online infringement."

It also added the threat that the BPI "reserves the right to exercise its existing legal rights to require such action when it deems appropriate."

Bad timing, tone, content

Baroness Vadera, sent a terse reply, copying in senior execs at the major music labels, telling the BPI boss:

"I was disappointed at the timing, tone as well as content of the attached letter from you yesterday…I am glad I was able to ensure that the MoU got signed despite it."

Vadera also called for the BPI to show "goodwill and a grown-up constructive spirit of finding solutions."