The fact that the UK's Internet providers are doing something about illegal downloads of music is of course to be welcomed in principle. Whenever the subject comes up there are a handful of objections; civil liberties, the Internet should be free, whatever, the objectors seem to come from everywhere.

But they're wrong. Speaking as someone who writes for a living, frankly my family eats or not depending on my ability to claim copyright in everything that comes from my fingers and onto your screen unless I sign a specific agreement that says otherwise (that's UK law, by the way; in America I understand I'd need to put a copyright notice at the end if I wanted to assert copyright later). Musicians and actors have the same rights to protect their intellectual property as I do, and this is one of the reasons I've always resisted illegal downloads in spite of how easy they are.

The interesting thing, though, about the story actually appears in the comments at the end. Someone has pointed out - rightly enough - that to intercept any other form of communication requires a police warrant. To monitor an entire family's web activity appears not to. This does concern me more than slightly; I want Internet piracy stopped or legislated against somehow, but I don't think it warrants an even stricter regime than the constant fight against terrorism (where you'd need a warrant to monitor people's post or phone calls, for example).

Another interesting element is the likely reaction internationally. Yes, at the moment this is happening only in my country but if it works I could well imagine, subject to it fitting in with other people's legislation, that it would be adopted as a model in other territories.

For me it's the right problem addressed by an overly cumbersome instrument. I'd be fascinated to hear from others from different countries about what they think.

I know that my ISP already monitors what I do on the internet and I am from the USA. I do not think that they should have a right to monitor everything you do maybe they should just have a program where they monitor mp3s I think that would be better.

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