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UK Digital Economy Bill Could Fuel ISP Targeting Internet Copyright Trolls

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UK Digital Economy Bill Could Fuel ISP Targeting Internet Copyright Trolls

Postby sunnyd » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:05 pm

Story :

The Open Rights Group has warned that new measures in the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill 2017 could provide ammunition to copyright trolls, which have made a business out of harassing broadband ISP subscribers with letters that demand payment for suspected Internet piracy.

The practice, which is otherwise known as “Speculative Invoicing“, is widely frowned upon due to its reliance upon fallible IP address based evidence (gathered via public P2P File Sharing networks) and for the bullying nature of its approach. People who fail to reach a settlement can be threatened with court action, although such action almost never occurs because it’s expensive and tends to fail.

Every broadband connection is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address and so you’d think it would be easy to identify the responsible user. However such evidence is notoriously unreliable because IPs can be spoofed, redirected or even become incorrect due to small timing errors in the ISP’s access log.

Similarly an IP address often reflects a network that is shared between many users (e.g. business or home networks, public WiFi, hotels) and thus at best you’d only be able to identify the bill payer and they might not be the guilty individual. As a result there’s a string of cases where seemingly innocent people have been targeted.

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