The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) wants European ISPs to build the copyright equivalent to the Chinese firewall, and its counting on the help of European lawmakers to achieve this goal.

The music industry association approached the EU parliament with a set of recommendations to "develop cooperations with ISPs", something that the paper calls "key to the future of the music business." So what can ISPs do to cooperate, you might ask? Well, that's easy: Just filter out any illegitimate content, block P2P protocols and block access to websites like The Pirate Bay. That's all.

Here's what IFPI exactly has in mind:

ISPs should use acoustic fingerprinting-based filtering solutions like the one industry darling Audible Magic is offering to block any transfer of unlicensed sound recordings. The IFPI paper likens this to filtered / licensed P2P applications like iMesh and Kazaa, but it doesn't even specify whether these filters should only affect P2P, meaning that possibly every song transfer via IM or FTP could be affected as well.

ISPs should also block any type of Bittorrent or Gnutella traffic. From the paper:

"It is (...) possible for ISPs to block their customers' access to specific P2P services that are known to be predominantly infringing and that have refused to implement steps to prevent infringement, while not affecting regular services such as web and email."

And finally, ISPs are supposed to block "infringing websites" that are located in "rogue jurisdictions" or "refuse to cooperate" with the industry. One example quoted is Allofmp3.com, another one is The Pirate Bay, a site the IFPI calls "an infamous infringing service locaded in Sweden".

The German IT news website heise.de is reporting that IFPI has succeeded in getting some political support for these ideas. The Committee for Culture and Education will decide in January whether they want to incorporate recommendations for ISP-based filtering into a dossier about the future of cultural industries in Europe.

This in itself may sound like a small step, but the EFF Europe is already up in arms about it, calling ISP filtering "an ill-considered and damaging quick fix."

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