How to win friends and influence people in the ISP community: sue them. Or perhaps not. Belgian collecting society SABAM has sued ISPs Belgacom, Telenet and Voo, looking for a 3.4% levy on their broadband subscription revenues to compensate for piracy on their networks. “The ISPs make profits by offering internet subscriptions through which movies and music can be downloaded, and thus need to pay copyright,” says SABAM in a (Google-translated) statement on Belgian site DataNews. TorrentFreak has several angry responses from the ISPs, which follow traditional lines: “What SABAM wants is tantamount to imposing a linear tax,” says Belgacom’s spokesperson. “A postman doesn’t open letters he delivers. We are also just transporting data, and we are not responsible for the contents.” Industry body ISPA isn’t happy either: “The so-called license fee on Internet access comes down to a tax that will hurt all consumers, including people who do not use their Internet to download music or movies,” it claims. The case is expected to come to court later this year.

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