Unredacted Documents Show Music Labels Asking ISPs To Spy On Their Users

It’s not a secret that music labels want to use whatever means they can get to fight piracy. Music labels have been attempting to get ISPs involved in policing and enforcing copyrights for a while. TorrentFreak, however, has shared some documents acquired by a Freedom of Information Act request that failed to redact information where UMG is actively discussing the possibility of ISPs monitoring user traffic.

The document is actually a record of a meeting between then-Secretary of State Lord Mandelson and CEO of Universal Music Group International, Lucian Grainge wherein a deal between UMG and Virgin Media is discussed that involved a pretty shady quid pro quo, involving revenue sharing in exchange for some nasty-sounding, privacy-breach-y style snooping.

The deal, circa 2009, never actually went through as other music labels were nervous about a £10/month all-you-can-eat plan, however the deal was seen as “groundbreaking”, which means there’s a decent probability that similar terms are being proposed for other licensing deals. Sure enough, labels haven’t been shy about wanting ISP involvement.

What’s perhaps most unsettling, however, is that this little bit was previously redacted, and in fact only turned up because the agency responsible for blacking it out missed one version of the document. It raises the questions of what else music labels have preferred that their customers not know, as well as if such deep inspections are already occurring at the ISP level.

Source: TorrentFreak

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