Disney calls for illegal downloaders ban
The chief executive of the Walt Disney Company has called on internet service providers to ban people who illegally download content.
Bob Iger, speaking at a media briefing in London today, today added his voice to calls for people who illegally download content to be punished.
Disney owns US network ABC and produces hit international TV shows including Desperate Housewives and Lost.
In July, six of the UK's biggest ISPs signed a memorandum of understanding with the government, music industry body the BPI and the Motion Picture Association to reduce illegal filesharing within three years.
As part of the deal, the ISPs agreed to send out 1,000 letters a week in a three-month trial to subscribers who have been identified by the BPI as having been engaged in illicit uploading or downloading of music.
It is thought the door has also been left open for the agreement to be extended to include TV companies and the computer games industry.
The agreement was announced as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform began a consultation on the regulatory options to punish ISPs if they fail to act against illegal fileshareing.
Iger said as part of the deal between distribution businesses and firms like Disney clauses should be made that people who illegally download content are banned.
"We are simply asking for people who are downloading illegal files to get a warning initially then to get their service cut off," he added.
"That should be part of the agreement with these companies. We are not asking for information on who the customer is or to show up with law enforcement authorities," Iger said.
"Most distribution businesses succeed because they have a distribution process in place. They also have product. We contribute to that mightily. It is a joint partnership.
"As part of that pact to give our product and make it available on their platform, we believe they should work with us to prevent people from stealing. It is in their best interests we well."
Iger also said Disney was looking to make further acquisitions in the UK, which was one of its main focuses for expansion.
"I would say that without being specific there are existing companies in the UK that we are looking at, but we don't cite specific companies," he added.
"We like companies that fit well in the ESPN Disney brands. We like companies that have a face or future in new technology.
"We like companies that are likely to grow because they become part of The Walt Disney Company. We like companies that have solid management and growth of their own," Iger said.
Iger is in London for tonight's European premiere of the Disney Channel's new film Camp Rock, which is being feted as the new High School Musical.
The TV movie, which stars US pop sensations The Jonas Brothers, broke records in the US, attracting 24.5 million viewers over its first weekend, making it the second highest-viewed Disney Channel original movie of all time after High School Musical 2.
Camp Rock premieres in the UK on the Disney Channel on September 19.