The RIAA's pretend international body, the IFPI, and a couple of Norwegian movies rights holders clubs, have been trying to force Telenor, the Norwegian ISP, to allow them to decide where people can go online.
Telenor have told the IFPI that it's not going to:
In Telenor's opinion, ISPs are not complicit in the actions of its customers on the Internet. "We comply with all relevant laws and regulations and can see no legal basis for any ISP to act in the interests of digital intellectual property rights holders by blocking individual websites," says Ragnar Kårhus, head of Telenor Norway. "Asking an ISP to control and assess what Internet users can and cannot download is just as wrong as asking the post office to open and read letters and decide what should and should not be delivered."
"This is by no means a new issue, and it applies to the entire Western knowledge-based economy. Telenor sympathises with intellectual property rights holders whose content has been illegally distributed, but in our opinion, it is wrong to claim an ISP is liable for any illegal activity by its users on the Internet," says Ragnar Kårhus.
Having slapped the IFPI down, Telenor then points out that the labels might want to think more about the market they operate in now than spending time telling other companies what they should be doing:
The problem is that the business model for selling digital content is in many ways old-fashioned and has not adapted to the reality of the Internet. The problem is not the ISPs, rather the rights holders themselves. Telenor is of the opinion it is the rights holder's job to develop sustainable business models for content delivery over the Internet. It is possible to do this effectively, as proven by global successes in this area including iTunes and Telenor's own music downloading service. The enormous market for downloading ringtones and games to mobile telephones are other examples of people's willingness to pay for digital content if the business model is right.
"Our experience is that people are willing to pay for legal content on the Internet, if the price and availability are good, and the quality and user experience are right," says Ragnar Kårhus.
Don't you love Scandinavians?