The BPI is once again creating more light than heat with its public battle to try and get UK ISPs Tiscali and Cable & Wireless to cut off subscribers (57 of them!) that the BPI alleges are using their internet access to break copyright law by swapping music online. Why the BPI persists with this PR-driven campaign and also attempts to circumnavigate the courts is somewhat of a mystery. Surely it’s time for the BPI and labels to look forward and pull its head in.

However, the ISPs are in a tough spot with the ISP market evolving at an accelerated rate thanks to the uptake in broadband and the fact that prices for access are heading rapidly towards zero. Any public concession to the BPI and yet more numbers will swap Internet providers. It’s a messy PR exercise that no one looks likely to benefit from.

On the flip side, moves by AIM and partners to try and get to a stage where ISPs are helping to develop legalised P2P are a welcome relief from the misguided and jurassic thinking of the labels’ representative. The sooner music is a regarded as an always-on service like water supply (only better) and not a product, the sooner these daft legal/pr moves will be over and the rights holders will be able to tap into the ever-increasing consumption of music.

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