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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-kinder-gentler-copyright-industry dept.
New submitter echo-e writes: "A deal has been made between groups representing content creators and ISPs in the UK concerning how the ISPs should respond to suspected illegal file sharers. In short, the ISPs will send letters or emails with an 'educational' rather than threatening tone, alerting users to legal alternatives. The rights holders will be notified of the number of such alerts that have been sent out, but only the ISPs will know the identity of the offenders. Only four of the UKs ISPs have agreed to the 'Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme' so far, but the remaining ISPs are expected to join the programme at a later stage. The debate between rights holders and ISPs has raged on for years. This agreement falls short of the of the proposals put forward by the rights holders groups, but the ISPs have argued that it is not their responsibility to police users and that a legal process already exists for going after individuals."
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UK ISPs To Send Non-Threatening Letters To Pirates

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 09, 2014 @11:36AM (#46959763)

    What happens if, say, the user is downloading shows for which there is no legal source? Let me give you an example:

    There's a Japanese TV show, highly popular on various anime trackers, called Game Center CX. It's a live-action show that's been running for something like 18 seasons now where a comedian named Shinya Arino plays through hard and/or bad NES/SNES era games.. and it's also had a bit of an odd cycle of rights in the United States.

    Initially, Kotaku (horrible as it is) licensed some 13 or so episodes from the show's rightsholder, Fuji TV. They overdubbed them.. poorly.. and released them online. Kotaku only had the rights to those specific episodes, and only for I believe two years. The show proved unpopular on Kotaku, because at that point Something Awful already had a fansub group together who were doing a much better job translating and didn't have an annoying English-language overdub. SA-GCCX released their work on Youtube, where it stayed for years without a problem. I should also mention that they only translated the episodes Kotaku did not have the rights to - episodes that could not be legally seen outside of Japan because they were only broadcast on Fuji TV and no one bought the rights to them here.

    About a year ago, Fuji TV sent a mass of DMCA notices on every episode of Game Center CX that had been uploaded to Youtube, even though the show was not licensed (and still is not, with one exception that I'll mention) in the United States. Every single episode got taken down, and there was a massive scramble to get them all back.

    There is ONE exception to the licensing - SA-GCCX actually got a commercial DVD released just before Fuji TV started sending out takedown notices, of their own subtitled versions of the episodes Kotaku had butchered. However, they only had the rights to the episodes Kotaku had previously licensed, and they were not the ones who sent out takedown notices on the Youtube videos. Fuji TV also sells DVD box sets of the show, but those are not subtitled, almost impossible to import, and cost a metric fuck-ton of money (I tried to buy one once, it would've cost me something like $300 for a set of DVDs I can't understand).

    So now, outside of spending a ridiculous amount of money to buy a satellite package that contains Fuji TV (which I'm not sure even exists) and learning to understand spoken Japanese (tried it, lapsed when I got a job) or moving to the Tokyo metropolitan area and paying for a cable subscription, there is no legal way for me to watch Game Center CX should Fuji TV decide to go after torrents of the show. They haven't, so far, and I don't live in the UK, but I can just imagine AT&T sending me a "non-threatening" letter:

    "Dear Customer,

    You have been caught downloading Game Center CX, a television show owned by Fuji TV, Inc. This is wrong and you should consider a legal purchase instead at the following locations:

    (NULL)"

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