In regards to an IP address used to "identify" an "alleged" copyright infringer, I happen to agree with this excerpt from an article on "volume litigation":
If one assumes the practice is compliant with the Data Protection Act, there remains an argument that the process is flawed. The data provided by the ISP relates to the ‘registered keeper’ of the IP address at that time. This is different to the user. I am the keeper of my broadband account: it is though used by others in my household. This has been recognised recently by the Tribunale di Roma which ruled that an IP address is insufficient evidence to identify an individual. During preliminary investigations of a file-sharing copyright infringement complaint, the investigatory magistrate and the judge considered that the mere ownership of the connection from which the offence was committed was not sufficient to establish the liability of defendants, especially since the alleged infringement may have been committed by other people. It is widely accepted that the industry standard WEP encryption protocol used for wireless routers is not sufficiently secure to prevent illegal access to even a secured router. The risk of identifying innocent parties as ‘infringers’ is therefore great. This has been evidenced in the hundreds of individual testimonies which may be read at http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/your-stories.php as well as in high-profile cases such as that of Ken and Gill Murdoch.
The only thing the Digital Economy Act 2010 does is smooth the way for such volume litigation. Everyone ignores the family demographic (parents with one or more teenagers). This is the demographic that will be hit hardest financially (by such litigation troll firms mentioned in the Volume Litigation article).
Hypothetical: what if someone developed a P2P system using Google Mail as the transport (so music files were zipped up and transferred via email)? If such a system prevalent prevalent, would it be possible to order Google Mail to be blocked or taken down? If such a system was developed, would it be acceptable for Google to check the contents of emails sent to/from it's Google Mail customers? It wouldn't be possible to use DPI because GMail uses encryption.
Another one: I found an article somewhere (can't find it right now) about some Japanese teenager who has developed a "proximity sharing" application intended for use on the up and coming handsets that will sport Bluetooth 3.0 (transfer rates of 480Mb/s - same as USB 2.0). This completely changes the "sharing dynamic". Does it mean their mobile carriers would be required to disconnect customers accused of "proximity sharing"?
I don't use any P2P clients - never have, never will (not knowingly anyway). I don't need to download free stuff, I'm fortunate enough to make enough money to buy things. I am, however, a parent, and I can't believe that I could now be held accountable for something one or more of my children does. Worse still, I could be held accountable for something one or more of their friends does on my network. What's the solution? Stop sharing the Internet connection completely? Is that what our society has been reduced to - being taught that sharing is a bad thing?
I for one am disgusted at the display of "democracy" referred to as "wash-up", and the obvious influence and corruption injected by Mandelson. For this reason, I have decided to participate in the BPI Boycott:
This, it appears, is the only means I have of protesting against what I believe is ill conceived (and possibly unlawful) legislation rushed through parliament. I refuse to finance the companies who engineered the Digital Economy Act, and I will not give my vote to any politician who voted for it. There are other forms of entertainment out there.
By the way, the first I heard about this and how it could effect my life was at a "Parents and Teachers" meeting. Don't underestimate the P&T - news of this will spread like wild fire. After all, we (parents with teenagers) are the demographic that will be hit hardest.