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BPI hits File-Sharing Brits

Postby SlyckTom » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:33 pm

For the last three years, the typical copyright enforcement policy relied almost entirely on suing individual file-sharers. The major entertainment representatives, such as the RIAA, IFPI, MPAA, and to a lesser extent, the BPI, have all used a similar strategy in their efforts to deter unauthorized file-sharing.

The effectiveness of this program has often been called into question. Setting aside the tit-for-tat research that each side uses to negate the other, the ubiquitous nature of file-sharing is difficult to ignore. Heavy hitters such as LimeWire, BitTorrent, and eDonkey2000 are a common part of the Internet language and are part of typical conversation when discussing media acquisition. Lawsuits are also, but such conversations are relegated to aversion rather than compliance. Many times, the existence of litigation against individual file-sharers is completely unknown.

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has in response altered its once a month, across the continent, enmass lawsuit campaign. Instead, it has instituted a lighter and more locally focused campaign to give personal relevance to their efforts. The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) appears to have emulated this approach to some extent, as the trade representative has announced a new approach to their copyright enforcement campaign.

In a press statement released yesterday, the BPI <a href=http://www.bpi.co.uk/index.asp?Page=news/legal/news_content_file_1011.shtml target=_blank>announced</a> their new approach to fighting unauthorized file-sharing. In this instance, the BPI sent written requests to the ISPs Tiscali and Cable & Wireless to suspend 17 and 42 Internet accounts respectively. The BPI suspects these 59 individuals have engaged in unauthorized file-sharing.

This approach, the BPI contends, is designed to place more of the responsibility of copyright enforcement on the ISPs. The BPI appears to have grown frustrated in the lack of effort on the part of the ISPs who it claims has turned a “blind eye” to piracy.

"We have demonstrated in the courts that unauthorized filesharing is against the law. We have said for months that it is unacceptable for ISPs to turn a blind eye to industrial-scale copyright infringement. We are providing Tiscali and Cable & Wireless with unequivocal evidence of copyright infringement via their services. It is now up to them to put their house in order and pull the plug on these people," BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson said.

So is this a radical shift in the BPI’s enforcement policy?

“Not so much a shift,” Matt Phillips, Communications Manager of the BPI told Slyck.com. “We will still continue to bring cases against individual uploaders. This is more a development; it enables us to bring many more cases, and resolve them far more quickly and cost-effectively as we don't have to involve the courts.”

By attempting to decentralize the enforcement effort, the BPI stands to save considerable capital on the very time consuming and costly litigation process against individuals. “If the accounts are terminated, we have no plans to pursue cases against the individuals and therefore damages are not involved,” Matt Phillips said.

Like most of its previous enforcement cases, the BPI has the evidence it needs to financially pursue individuals - if it so choses. However a much cheaper alternative is to simply obligate the alleged individual’s ISP into the process.

“…We have evidence against IP addresses and are now inviting the ISPs concerned to identify them and enforce their own T&Cs,” Matt told Slyck. “While we would be at liberty to bring a case against the infringer we are not seeking to do that, therefore damages are not an issue. We are seeking to have the accounts of the file-sharers terminated without involving the courts for the reasons outlined…”

There’s distinct advantages to both strategies. Direct personal lawsuits have the effect of targeting in individual immediately, while suspending accounts is less time consuming and less costly. However Tiscali told the <a href=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5165372.stm target=_blank>BBC</a>: "We do not automatically suspend customer accounts on request, but on occasion do so pending investigation. We are reviewing the information the BPI has provided and will respond appropriately."

How long Tiscali, or any ISP for that matter, takes to complete an internal investigation may have considerable impact on the viability of this new strategy. In the ongoing war of attrition between the entertainment industry and file-sharers, time has its way of benefiting the latter.
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Postby devilwolf » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:39 pm

That should work great. Just like getting spammers accounts disabled has stopped spam.
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Postby smartimpulse » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:11 pm

Ah, excuse me but why have we been paying all that money on superfast connections, 10mbit/20mbit and not use it for what it is intended for?
If we just need an email, browsing experience then dailup and 1mb would be fine. Silly people, they need to get out more.
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Postby Red_Blue » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:16 pm

We are soon going to see a new type of lawsuit in the UK, that's for sure. Some customer will sue the ISP for breach of contract (and probably rise other claims of unfair terms of contract, consumer rights violations, marketing control violations etc.) for closing an account due to the "[alledged] evidence [BPI thinks covers their] needs to financially pursue individuals" being completely unreliable and not proving infringement by any named person.

That's what I would personally be prepared to do already, if I lived in a country where they can actually do that and there is not an EUCD Article 8(3) and IPRED1 Article 9(1)(a) compliant procedure to take the issue directly to a court without involving the ISP and its terms of service.
Last edited by Red_Blue on Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Dazzle » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:22 pm

Its my firm belief the BPI is breaking the law in gathering data on filesharers.

This activity has been ruled illegal in a Danish court as it came to light that the gathering of IP,s in this way break european data protection laws, the UK abides by the same european law to my knowledge.

I would be obliged if someone wrote to the data protection registrar to clarify the position of the BPI in gathering information that could be used to personally identify individual filesharers.

If the BPI wishes to infringe internet users rights of privacy in its efforts to catch a few alleged copyright infringers it had better watch out for itself under human rights legislation, especially as I dont think any of the judges are up for sale.
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Postby Fartingbob » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:34 pm

What i dont like about this whole thing is this:
In this instance, the BPI sent written requests to the ISP Tiscali and Cable & Wireless to suspend 59 Internet accounts. The BPI suspects these 59 individuals have engaged in unauthorized file-sharing.

Suspending someones account does not achieve anything. If they want these people to be investigated then they can do so without cutting them off. And if they have no actual proof then this suspention is uncalled for since it wont lead to anything.
I suspect the BPI is breaking european law, which is actually more than these suspected file sharers are doing, so maybe i should get there servers offline, just in case im right.
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Postby SlyckTom » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:35 pm

Note though Fartingbob, that Tiscali said it will conduct its own investigation before suspending any accounts.
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Postby Red_Blue » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:38 pm

Also, I would presume that if some of the major ISPs go along with this, closing accounts without a court order just based on BPI allegations, several smaller ISPs will see this as an opportunity to diversify and instead offer accounts with TOS which has no such provision (or even contrary language stating that the account will not be closed for copyright claims without a court order). The ISPs should under EU directives (such as the eCommerce Directive) have a full right to do this, since they can't be held liable especially if they have no contractual obligations to enforce the rights of third parties.

P2P'ers are after all good customers to any ISP which has calculated their BW costs properly (or i.e. are not defrauding their customers by too heavily overselling the BW they've bought). These customers usually buy premium accounts which have a high markup to begin with, almost never bother the customer service or tech support (unless there are problems in the ISPs own systems), never get any worms or let their machines be hacked for spam relays etc.

There is already a P2P-friendly ISP in my country with TOS which explicitly mention that P2P will not be limited, restricted or regulated. There is demand for it, so I don't see why there wouldn't be supply as long as there are no areal monopolies or a nationwide cartel to try to prevent it forming in the UK.
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Postby devilwolf » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:46 pm

Most large ISP tend to have TOS that allows them to terminate an account for almost any reason. And Tiscali does have such in section 13.

Now I'm sure the end user can sue, but so can BPI.

What BPI is doing is basically trying to shame the ISPs into taking action. They are creating a public paper trail that will tend to complicate things like bank funding, equity offerings, and they are creating "ill will" in the marketplace, and also making them subject to negative political attention from media friendly MPs.
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Postby webe3 » Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:13 pm

devilwolf wrote:Now I'm sure the end user can sue, but so can BPI.



Well if they try and shut down a persons account for filesharing and that person proves they have done nothing wrong, then the ISP can have the hell COUNTER SUED out of it.


This was a BIG argument in the US, not exatly the same thing but a similar argument........ basically the RIAA/MPAA wanted ISPs to hand over personal information on filesharers, but they eventually backed off because they realized that some of the ISP's were willing to stand up and fight it legally. The ISP's stated many privacy concerns would have to be addressed and they could be sued by their own users. Most believe that the ISP is not responsible for the acts of their usrs, so it looked like the RIAA/MPAA was trying to punish the wrong crowd.


If the ISPs in britian stood up to them, I am sure the BPI would back down also.
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Postby devilwolf » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:26 pm

webe3 wrote:
devilwolf wrote:Now I'm sure the end user can sue, but so can BPI.


This was a BIG argument in the US, not exatly the same thing but a similar argument........ basically the RIAA/MPAA wanted ISPs to hand over personal information on filesharers, but they eventually backed off because they realized that some of the ISP's were willing to stand up and fight it legally. The ISP's stated many privacy concerns would have to be addressed and they could be sued by their own users.



Ebay has the opposite policy. Ebay gives out sellers names and addresses to ANY IP Owner that registers with it and files a take down notice. Ebay has not been sued, although many IP owners ruthless abuse DMCA to harass sellers. the only counter suits have been against IP Owners, and none have actually gone to trial that I know of - they have just be used to get the IP owners to stop filing take down notices.

Ebay even prides itself on its good corporate citizenship of bending over backwards to give out its sellers info on request w/o a court order.

European data privacy laws are a bit stricter then US laws, but US citizens are much more likely to sue the EU citizens.
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Postby grubbymitts » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:37 pm

Wow 59 people on two of the largest ISPs in the UK. Run to the hills everybody, P2P in the UK is about to die!
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Postby ntscuser » Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:39 pm

There's a strange belief among posters who don't live in the UK that a) ordinary people in the UK have any rights at all and that b) any individual can afford to bring a private lawsuit. In my experience both assumptions are highly mistaken.
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Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:09 pm

ntscuser wrote:There's a strange belief among posters who don't live in the UK that a) ordinary people in the UK have any rights at all and that b) any individual can afford to bring a private lawsuit. In my experience both assumptions are highly mistaken.


:lol: well, come to the US, and be tortured to death along with the rest of us ;)
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bpi and tiscali

Postby whisperathome » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:23 pm

LONDON (Reuters) - Internet service provider Tiscali on Tuesday rebuked demands by British music companies to reveal the names of some of its customers who allegedly used the network to illegally share songs.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) trade group said on Monday it had "unequivocal" evidence about 17 of Tiscali's customers and 42 from fellow telecoms company Cable & Wireless to support its claims.

Tiscali, an Italy-based company with about 1.2 million broadband customers in the UK, said it had received only extracts of a screenshot of one of its customers and nothing to support the allegations against the 16 others.


"Further, you have provided no evidence of downloading taking place nor have you provided evidence that the shared drive was connected by the relevant IP address at the relevant time," Tiscali wrote to the BPI in a letter, portions of which were provided to Reuters.

Tiscali requested more information about shared drives and added: "If you wish to establish that downloading is taking place, please also provide evidence of this."

It said it had contacted the one customer about whom it received partial evidence, and would suspend the account if it did not hear back from the customer within seven days, pending a BPI investigation that must also supply more information.

Tiscali insisted it would not disclose customer names without a court order.

BPI officials were not immediately available to comment
The music industry's relationship with Internet service providers has grown uneasy as it tries to enlist them in a crusade against file-sharing, which has cut deeply into CD sales in recent years.

The U.S. music industry tried to force telecoms companies to reveal the names of their customers who were allegedly using file-sharing networks to illegally share songs, but it lost a legal battle to do so in 2004.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the global music trade group, has tried to push a "code of conduct" on ISPs that would have them install filtering technology, among other measures.

"ISPs should make concrete commitments to control infringements on their networks," the IFPI said earlier this year.


Tiscali said it does not support the use of its network to violate copyrights, and said it has co-operated in previous investigations and worked with music companies to develop legal online download services.

C&W said it would "take whatever steps are necessary to put the matter right", adding that existing policies for its Bulldog broadband Internet service "would normally mean that any accounts used for illegal file-sharing are closed."

source...http://today.reuters.co.uk/new ... 73743Z_01_ L11613248_RTRIDST_0_OUKIN-UK-TELECOMS-TISCALI-BPI.XML

looks like th bpi are trying to force isp's into taking a stance..
they tried a few years ago with british telecom and more or less got the same ansser from them...

The BPI is complaining that BT has refused to take a hard-line stance on file-swapping. BT says the industry is picking a fight with the wrong company

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has accused BT of aiding and abetting illegal file-sharing by refusing to adopt a hard-line approach to peer-to-peer networks.
The music industry body, which blames file-sharing for falling CD sales, told the BBC that BT has consistently refused to discuss the phenomenon of file-sharing and the online distribution of copyrighted material which first came to prominence with the meteoric rise of Napster.

However, BT was quick to reject any allegations of complicity or wrongdoing. Tony Henderson, a spokesman for BT Openworld, said: "We were surprised and disappointed to hear that that BPI said we don't talk to them on this issue, as we've spoken to them many times. The chairman of the BPI even came to the launch of our dot-music service -- which is a legal service offering music downloads."

Henderson believes the BPI has picked a fight with the wrong company, claiming it's not BT Openworld's responsibility to monitor those using its broadband bandwidth for file-sharing.

"It's not within the power of the ISPs to control these services," he said. "We don't have a responsibility to police the Internet or monitor what people are using our services for."

However, while Henderson believes it is not his company's responsibility to stamp out individual file sharing, he said that if the BPI came to them with evidence of a BT Openworld-hosted site running a service which was in breach of copyright rules then the owner of the site would be contacted and told to remove the illegal material.

But that, according to Henderson, is as far as BT feels it is required to go.

The BPI was not available for comment at the time of writing

that was march 2003....bpi have still not responded.

source....http://news.zdnet.co.uk/busin ... 085,00.htm




so in a nutshell the isp'd want nothing to do with it unless there is hard evidence...they tried tree years ago..and got slapped down...they tried again and got slapped down... :D
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Postby IFeelFree » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:29 pm

I believe the DMCA in the U.S. specifically absolves the ISPs of any liability for the actions of their customers. That may explain why the RIAA hasn't enlisted the help of U.S. ISPs in detering file-sharing. Also, most U.S. cities have muliple ISP choices available. It seems to me that if one ISP started sending out letters or shutting down accounts, they might stand to lose a lot of business to competitors.
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Postby georgegad » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:20 pm

smartimpulse wrote:Ah, excuse me but why have we been paying all that money on superfast connections, 10mbit/20mbit and not use it for what it is intended for?
If we just need an email, browsing experience then dailup and 1mb would be fine.


Which brings up the question: Who is going to reimburse my service provider for loss of income directly caused by the lawsuit? I pay more for my internet connection than I EVER did on cinemas, music and games combined. With reduced incomes, smaller providers may fold, leaving non-infringing customers with no connection.
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Postby GraphiX » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:41 pm

would someone please contact these idiots and explain to them that isp's are not bothered if they cut accounts they are cutting money.

they dont do it for the good of their harts they provide us fast 10mbit/20mbit lines for 1 thing and 1 thing only "downloading".

at first there was not 1 single legal service out there that give you a reason to have fast broadband in the first place it was only illigal services that give the ISP's a great new way to get money and millions of it.

without semi legal services in the first place
the LEGAL DRM'd crappy services now wouldn't of ever existed nor would people of needed or wanted higher speeds than dialup and 1,2mb at a push.

illegal services is what has made riaa/mppa so rich and now the bpi wanna get in on the act.

my 5 year old son understands that if he cant
download his fav cartoon show or missed tv eppisode
that there is no more point for our fast connection.

maybe we should put him in charge because the clowns at the bpi are just not understanding it.
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Postby SlyckScratch » Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:43 am

Tiscali tells UK recording industry to sod off

Pirating proof pants

By Nick Farrell: Wednesday 12 July 2006, 07:13

YESTERDAY'S comments by the British Phonographic Industry that it had read the riot act to two UK ISPs and asked them to pull the plug on their P2P pirates has been disputed by one of the ISPs.
Yesterday the BPI said it had presented Tiscali with "overwhelming evidence" that some of its customers were P2P pirates and told them to pull the plug on them.

However Tiscali is fuming that it appears to have suffered what it calls a "media ambush" by the BPI which had sent a copy of its letter to the press before it had bothered mailing it to them.

Tiscali said that the BPI had not provided any "overwhelming evidence" that its customers were P2P pirates at all. The "overwhelming evidence" provided by the BPI amounted to a spreadsheet of 17 IP addresses that it claimed belonged to Tiscali customers, with a list of the dates that they are alleged to have nicked the music.

No evidence has been provided other than some screenshots of the shared drive of one of the customers. There is no evidence of downloading taking place. In the case of the screen shot, there was no proof that the shared drive was connected by the relevant IP address at the relevant time.

Tiscali said that in the past the BPI had included such information. A court would consider it necessary to see such evidence, supported by sworn statements, before switching off any punters.

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=32966

The bold is mine - surely this is the level of 'proof' the BPI always provides when trying to sue someone? Sounds like it might not be considered proof at all.

Not a clever move sending the press information first. If that happened to me, i'd be digging my heels in too and quite rightly so.

Any ISP who caves into this is going to lose lots of business when its customers realise they can be sold down the river over some screenshots
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Postby rocktorrentz » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:31 am

Go BT :D

Henderson believes the BPI has picked a fight with the wrong company, claiming it's not BT Openworld's responsibility to monitor those using its broadband bandwidth for file-sharing.

"It's not within the power of the ISPs to control these services," he said. "We don't have a responsibility to police the Internet or monitor what people are using our services for."


That statement alone has led me to the decision to stay with BT Openworld.
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Postby Ratt » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:49 am

As I've said before, we need to start making an international "blacklist" of ISPs that cooperate with these kind of practices. ISPs will always lose customers when they give in to this, as a rule, but by putting emphasis on it, by attracting extra attention to it, we can help ensure mass movements (relatively speaking) towards ISPs that don't cooperate and continue to provide proper internet access.
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Postby webe3 » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:41 pm

ntscuser wrote:There's a strange belief among posters who don't live in the UK that a) ordinary people in the UK have any rights at all and that b) any individual can afford to bring a private lawsuit. In my experience both assumptions are highly mistaken.



Well they had better get UNMISTAKEN in the fact that if they allow...yes, I said allow.... these "bullies" to do as they please, then their lives will be made a living hell! And they have only themselves to blame for it!

The same is true in the US or ANY part of the world...period.

If "ordinary people" are willing to stand up and fight in a court of law the flimsy evidence they have, then they will think twice before trying it again. If not, then they are only encouraged to to whatever they please to whoever they wish. It is as simple as that!
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Postby SlyckScratch » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:01 pm

This thread has been cleared of off-topic posts.

Back on topic, no need for a post-mortem
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Postby Rustywingum » Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:03 am

Reading this article am i right to assume that the bpi has used the same "evidence" in its previous actions in trying to impose its views?.

If i am right to assume this, then with screen shots and other evidence of that order i would feel a bit peeved if i was a victim of the bpi in the past!!.

I hope many people see these articles and get to know about it, then maybe more people involved in the future will stand up to the likes of the bpi!!.

I wonder if the RIAA also use similar evidence!!!
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Postby Mortiis » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:39 pm

The BPI are full of shit.
About 4 weeks ago I reported a website for selling pirated copies of cds.
Now before you jump to conclusions, I am all for non profit downloading but when someone sells me pirated cds trying to pass them off as real now that pisses me off. Anyway lets get back to the point.

The website I reported is still up an running, so if they haven't shut it down by now then whats the point of chasing downloaders?
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