Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone has rejected calls from copyright groups to restrict illegal downloaders' internet access.
The issue of what to do with persistent downloaders is becoming a heated political debate in the UK and across the European Union.
Dunstone discussed the issue after releasing the company's year-end results on Friday, when he also revealed a planned demerger of the TalkTalk Group's fixed-line and broadband business from the rest of the company.
"If you try speed humps or disconnections for peer-to-peer, people will simply disguise their traffic or share the content another way," said Dunstone, according to a report in The Guardian.
Dunstone was referring to proposals put forward by the entertainment industry to introduce 'speed humps' that will punish file-sharers by slowing down their internet connections. The alternative put forward by the entertainment industry is to kick downloaders off the internet completely, a policy just adopted by the French National Assembly.
"It is more about education and allowing people to get content easily and cheaply that will make a difference," said Dunstone. "This idea that it is all peer-to-peer and somehow internet service providers [ISPs] can just stop it, is very naive."
His comments are in line with ideas put forward by the Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property in a report entitled Copycats? Digital Consumers in the On-Line Age (PDF).
The report suggested that, if unauthorised downloading cannot be stopped, the creative industries may have to start offering new ways of downloading the material legally. It pointed to the BBC's iPlayer as an example of how business models are already changing.
While some ISPs send letters to persistent illegal downloaders warning them that they may wind up in court, the majority have long argued that it is only their job to provide broadband services.
The ISP Association, meanwhile, has registered its concerns over the cost to ISPs of policing broadband.
But Dunstone was more concerned that the government would introduce weak legislation.
"It is a game of Tom and Jerry and you will never catch the mouse. The mouse always wins in this battle, and we need to be careful that politicians do not get talked into putting legislation in place that, in the end, ends up looking stupid," he said.
Culture secretary Andy Burnham said on Thursday that cutting people of the internet was not the "preferred option", although this policy may change with Friday's Cabinet reshuffle.
UK copyright groups have been encouraged by fierce action taken against downloaders in France and Sweden.
The French idea is referred to as the 'three strikes' policy because individuals will have their access cut after three offences. The European Parliament rejected the policy last month, but the idea will now be debated by the Parliament and Council in the EU's conciliation procedure.
A court in Sweden recently jailed four men behind The Pirate Bay, one of the world's most popular file sharing sites.
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