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UK ISPs To Hand Over Thousands of File Sharers' Data 180

Death Metal Maniac sends along a link from TorrentFreak on the latest development in game developer Topwear's battle against file sharers in the UK. "US game developer Topware Interactive, the people behind the now infamous Dream Pinball affair, are about to turn up the heat. Operating through London lawyers Davenport Lyons, they have managed to convince the High Court to send out an order demanding that ISPs in the UK start to hand over the details of several thousand alleged pirates ... BT, one of the UK's largest ISPs ..., confirmed it had been ordered to hand over details of alleged copyright infringing file-sharers ... Virgin Media was a little more slippery in its response but reading between the lines it seems obvious they are involved too."
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UK ISPs To Hand Over Thousands of File Sharers' Data

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  • Hard to pin down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gotw ( 239699 ) <ninjacyclist@gma ... om minus painter> on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:07AM (#24887687) Homepage

    IANAL, but consider that the majority of BTs home DSL equipment ships with WEP, often 40 bit WEP, enabled by default. Would this in itself be grounds enough to plausibly deny that the traffic came from the person paying for the box? Not to mention she sheer, massive, embarrassing level of negligence on the part of BT.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      if you're going to accuse or charge BT of negligence because they didn't catch these "pirates" then you might as well demand that ISPs start monitoring all traffic and forbid the use of encrypted connections. there's no way to accuse an ISP of negligence unless they're actually expected to encroach on the privacy of their subscribers. that's just not part of their job.

      it's like accusing telephone companies of negligence because they don't monitor everyone's calls and make sure we're not discussing illegal a

      • by gotw ( 239699 ) <ninjacyclist@gma ... om minus painter> on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:17AM (#24888667) Homepage

        I'm not accusing BT of negligence for not catching the pirates. I'm accusing BT of negligence because they are supplying their users with broken, easily compromised security when much better alternatives are available using the exact same hardware.

        • Honestly, last time I saw, Sasktel has their router's defaulted to WEP, for compatibility reasons (a certain videogame console manufacturer whose name starts with N apparently hasn't figured this whole wireless security thing out yet), so we don't have every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Jane calling in demanding to know why their stuff won't work with the wireless.

          • The DS doesn't support WPA (which is bad), but the Wii does (and is the more recent of the two systems), so your accusation is a bit off-base.
            • Hmm. I was sure that the earlier wiis didn't support WPA out of the box, but got it in a later update (which you needed a connection to get. C-22), and it was later put on the shipping models. I could be wrong though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      First of all, plausible deniability is not really a legal concept.

      But secondly, the concept which you seem to be attempting to get across (i.e., introducing sufficient doubt so as to not meet the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt) is not really relevant here. This appears to be a civil matter, in which case, it is on the balance of probability.

      Moreover, you're basically saying that the majority of BT's customers were negligent and should be held liable for their negligence? I'm not sure they'd be happy

      • by gotw ( 239699 ) <ninjacyclist@gma ... om minus painter> on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:12AM (#24888591) Homepage

        Lots and lots of these boxes are in use, secured only by 40 bit WEP. I'm saying that considering that WEP can be cracked with great ease, how easy would it be to deny that the traffic came from you. Could someone up in court simply say "I didn't do it, I guess someone must be abusing my computer/access point".

        If BT thought such security was up to the user, why are they not supplying the boxes with an enabled, open wireless connection? They provide step by step instructions for its use and installation of WEP in an era when it is known to be deeply flawed. To what extent users should be expected to be educated about the security of their computer systems is an interesting point to debate. It would, however, be very easy for BT to use WPA-TKIP by default. The only reason I can fathom for not doing this would be the expense (and potential for bad feeling) involved in supporting users with old, WEP only drivers.

        What are the odds of a WEP network in a suburban area being cracked into over, say, a year? I suppose it all hinges on that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Lots and lots of these boxes are in use, secured only by 40 bit WEP. I'm saying that considering that WEP can be cracked with great ease, how easy would it be to deny that the traffic came from you. Could someone up in court simply say "I didn't do it, I guess someone must be abusing my computer/access point".

          Sure you could say it.

          That argument, however, would not get you very far; it would be akin to arguing that somebody broke into your house, plugged their laptop into your router, and started downloading

    • by Tuoqui ( 1091447 )

      Well WEP is probably used by default because some personal electronics (Nintendo DS) can only interact with WEP encrypted messages. WEP will dissuade casual wardrivers and the like but not those with technological know how to break it.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      Can it be disabled?

      Can it be hacked?

      If so, then id say you cant prove its me, unless you seize every bit of media in my house. Which i have never heard of happening for a CIVIL case..

      • They don't have to prove it was you.

        They just have to prove it was more likely than not it was you.

        There's a tremendous and significant difference.

  • by ilovesymbian ( 1341639 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:07AM (#24887691)

    I'm glad I live in the US. Even though some ISPs cower in fear, most of them give us enough freedom to do what we want. We truly live in the land of the free!

    • Re:Land of the free (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:14AM (#24887789) Homepage

      Is that some sarcasm; it's impossible to tell?

      Perhaps in the UK they (we? ex-pat here), haven't had the sue happy lawyers going after every man and his dog yet. But perhaps this is the beginning.

      • by jambox ( 1015589 )
        You don't see cases like you do in the US where people get fined tens of thousands of dollars. You will probably say "yet" but I just don't thin that sort of thing would fly over here. I think there would be a huge amount of protest, which would make it politically inconvenient.
        • You think people in the US are real happy about the lawsuits here? And don't say there aren't any protesters here - I live in Minneapolis and just made it through the RNC with all the police action and rioters. There are plenty of protesters in the US - they just happen to be protesting much bigger issues presently.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:17AM (#24887823)

      Yeah, in the US, the ISPs are free to hand over that data without bothering the court.

      And if the FISA debacle has taught us anything, it's that they're more than happy to hand over data without worrying about minor little details like "due process."

      Fortunately there's an election coming up, and you can vote for change! Wait, both sides claim they're for change? And both sides support warrantless wiretaps and telecom immunity?

      Well, damn. If only there were another option, a third option...

      • Re:Land of the free (Score:4, Interesting)

        by russotto ( 537200 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:30AM (#24888013) Journal

        Yeah, in the US, the ISPs are free to hand over that data without bothering the court. And if the FISA debacle has taught us anything, it's that they're more than happy to hand over data without worrying about minor little details like "due process."

        The Verizon case -- where Verizon refused to hand over the data without a court order -- teaches us the opposite. Or perhaps just that Uncle Sam is a bit more persuasive than **AA.

        • Re:Land of the free (Score:5, Informative)

          by tiananmen tank man ( 979067 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:24AM (#24888749)

          Interesting but False.

          From an USAToday story [1], "Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA, the sources said. According to multiple sources, Qwest declined to participate because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants."

          [1] []

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I believe the GP was referring to the RIAA/Verizon [] case, not FISA.

        • Re:Land of the free (Score:5, Informative)

          by tonyray ( 215820 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:36AM (#24888915)

          As an ISP in the US, we've been asked many times to hand over information wholesale to the FBI. Such warrants are not inforceable and we always ask them what it is they really want. Then they tell us specifically what they are looking for and we tell them if we have the data. If we do, they issue another warrant, signed by a judge, and they get the data. We narrow the FBI request down to the point that it identifies a single account. If it can't be narrowed to a singe account, the data would be worthless to them in court and they don't ask further.

      • i know you're being sarcastic, but whatever third options we have today are quickly evaporating. with the rise of globalization the political/corporate culture of the U.S. is gradually being exported to all parts of the world.

        the hegemonic influence of corporate America has never been greater. even Canada and Sweden and quickly falling in line with the RIAA/MPAA's demands. it's frightening how fast this de-democratization is happening even against these subject countries' own national interests.

      • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:41AM (#24888153)

        If only there were another option, a third option...

        Go ahead, throw your vote away!

        • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:54AM (#24888343)
          I wish 60% of the US population would "throw their vote away."
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by thermian ( 1267986 )

            uh, didn't you only have a 30% turnout at the last election?

            Something pretty darned low anyway, so a lot of people already are.

            Same things happening in the UK though, the elected leaders are voted in by an ever decreasing number of actual voters.

            • by gnick ( 1211984 )

              Actually in the 2004 US election, 60.7% [] of the elegible voters turned out. Not great, but more than double your 30% guess and not too far from the 61.3% [] turnout in the 2005 UK election.

              Of course, if you're talking about the 2006 elections, the US turnout was only ~37%... I concede that we just don't seem to care unless there's a presidency on the line...

              • I guess it must have been the 2006 election I meant then, I didn't recall the date, just someone fuming about it on the news.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sm62704 ( 957197 )

        Well, damn. If only there were another option, a third option...

        There are three pseudo-viable third options; parties that are on the ballot in enough states that should they win them all, they win the election.

        Bob Barr []

        Cynthis McKinney []

        Chuck Baldwin []

        I plan on voting for Barr. Sure, he'll lose, but so will one of the two major party candidates. Why do the media insist that voting for a loser is a wasted vote? Could it be that they are owned by corporations, who bribe both candidates to get legislation (like the

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pete-classic ( 75983 )

          I think Penn Jillette said it very well [], through the character of a sock monkey.

          You can waste your vote only by voting for someone you don't want. You don't want the winner. Don't waste your vote on someone who's going to win. He doesn't need your vote; he's going to win. Keep voting for the lesser of two evils and things will just keep getting more evil.


        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Why do the media insist that voting for a loser is a wasted vote?

          Would the democrat party love you if you started an ultra-republican party that stole 10% from the republicans? Yes.
          Would the republican party love you if you started an ultra-democrat party that stole 10% from the democrats? Yes.
          A third party works like poison to the side you disagree least with, that is why they say it's wasted.

          In most european countries that would simply shift the balance of a coalition, letting crappy parties fall and good ones rise to the top. That the coalitions are often weak and shi

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Ha! That's a good one. Almost every ISP in the United States has given user IP address and account information away to any subpoena by the RIAA and its lawyers. This of course is civil and not criminal, but the ISP response is exactly the same. I've only heard of ISPs giving up user data for criminal investigations in child porn or murder cases (i.e. search results for "kill wife" or whatever nonsense the bungling murderer tried to look up) but that doesn't mean it won't spread.

      Furthermore, even if the ISPs

    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )

      I know you're joking, but my friend Linda spent four months in Dwight Correctional Center for posession of a controlled substance. Shes on parole right now, not only a victimless criminal, but a victimless felon. Second amendment? She has no second amendment rights; she is banned from owning firearms for life, even though her crime was nonviolent and had no victims.

      Police State: In USSA, cops hassle YOU [] (NSFW?)

      Liberty? What liberty? []

    • Begs the question "Why is this under YOUR rights online?" It should be under "non-american rights online" or rather "Terrorists getting what they deserve."

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      I'm glad I live in the US. Even though some ISPs cower in fear, most of them give us enough freedom to do what we want. We truly live in the land of the free!

      But enough from the Whitehouse. What do the people think?

  • Peek a Boo. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:07AM (#24887697)

    What?! I thought P2P allowed me to hide.

  • ...from the looks of it, it seems that the outfit is just as rapacious and extortionist as their US counterparts, but aren't anywhere near as stupid (e.g. I suspect that they don't hire inept unlicensed private investigators, spread easily disproven propaganda, etc). It's almost as if they've learned from their counterparts over here.

    OTOH, they likely still rely on stupid 'evidence' such as IP addys, so (and I'm saying this completely ignorant of how UK civil torts work) there may be a chance of defending o

    • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:12AM (#24888589)

      They've won a few cases.

      Well, let me put that a little more realistically. The defendant didn't even bother to turn up so they got a default judgement in a few cases.
      And they crowed about a record £16000 award for their dumb pinball game a little while ago. Thing is, the lady they won that judgement against had not only not showed up in court, and not replied to any of their letters, but had actually moved house between the alleged infringement and the date the letters were sent. She was never even informed there was action against her. So the ruling isn't worth the paper it's written on.

      Their damage calculations are laughable too. We don't really have punitive damaged in the UK. You might be able to get them laughed out of court by saying "yes, I downloaded over a torrent network. They sell for £5, I downloaded one copy and (as a good torrent citizen) uploaded 110%, meaning their damages are exactly £10.50."

      I don't know exactly what would happen then, but usually that sort of thing should be in the small claims court, not the grown-up court, and legal expenses wouldn't be covered in the judgement there.

      At that amount it's a waste of the court's time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sm62704 ( 957197 )

      'course, it'll still be pricey as hell, etc.

      Not if you win; in the UK the loser pays.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:12AM (#24887755)
    They don't want to sue you or arrest you for file sharing. They're throwing you a party with cake and just want to know how to reach you to let you know about your party. Just stay where you are. A party associate will arrive shortly to collect you for the party.
  • I'm curious if this covers current targets and/or current sharers/infringers or if this is broader in the sense of going after people will accounts... ?
  • I can't wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:16AM (#24887807)

    for everyone to panic when the authorities start looking at online data storage services...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:18AM (#24887855)

    Stop trying to sell single TV episodes for $2. If the price was $0.25 or $0.50 to rent it (i.e. view it once or twice, delete 48 hours after first viewing), I'd be a huge customer.

    Stop trying to sell downloadable versions of movies for the same price as a DVD. If I purchase and download a movie, it's already costing me my limited monthly bandwidth and hard drive space that I paid for. If the movie sells for $20 on DVD, sell the downloadable version for $10. After all, I'm missing the extras, too.

    Stop limiting sales to a single country, the internet is world-wide. I don't care who owns what and who's under exclusive contrats with which stations. It's your mess, figure it out.

    Stop trying to put DRM which limit the usefulness of the media we want to buy. I don't want to watch movies and TV shows on my computer and I don't want to be tied to Microsoft-only hardware/software.

    Do people want your content? Yes, otherwise they wouldn't pirate it. Do people want to pay for your content? Yes, if the price, format and limits are reasonable. Find the balance and it'll work itself out.

    I, for one, won't bother with P2P and torrents if it only cost $0.99 for a tune I want. It's easier and faster to buy it from the iTunes Music Store. Their TV shows and movies, however, are too expensive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I, for one, won't bother with P2P and torrents if it only cost $0.99 for a tune I want. It's easier and faster to buy it from the iTunes Music Store. Their TV shows and movies, however, are too expensive.

      You don't think that a TV episode (22 to 44 minutes) is at least twice as expensive to produce as a song (about four minutes)?

      • When has the cost to produce entertainment ever figured in the cost to the consumer?

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        You don't think that a TV episode (22 to 44 minutes) is at least twice as expensive to produce as a song (about four minutes)?

        People pay what they feel is the value of something. If they can get it OTA, it costs them nothing. If they get it by cable it probably costs them $0.25-$1.25(reasonably speaking). Larger market, more viewership, more income, so on and so forth.

        Since advertising is where they make their money, they can slap in whatever ads they want and make more money and everyone is happy.

    • I agree. I don't bother with torrents- I just rent with blockbuster online. But they aren't making too much money off me- I'm definitely not buying anything.

      Oh, and what's this nonsense with waiting an arbitrary amount of time before releasing to DVD? I want the latest season of House, but it takes a year after it's aired? That is the number one thing driving me to piracy lately.
    • by jambox ( 1015589 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:45AM (#24888225)
      There are all sorts of restrictions that the industry puts on electronic media distribution, 99% of it is motivated by their desire to protect their existing business model. If the business model changes too much, the web of companies making profit will fall apart. They're ideologically unable to accept the truth; that is, advances in IT mean that eventually artists will sell directly to consumers. The only thing that will remain in between is the critics, DJs, journalists, etc who screen the huge amount of stuff for us. Distribution companies, duplication plants, agents, A&R, agents and lawyers will all be out of a business and shareholders will lose money - that's what they're trying to stop. That will probably happen to music first, but will probably generalise to TV and then movies in time. Inertia is caused by the amount of investment to make the stuff.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Do people want to pay for your content? Yes, if the price, format and limits are reasonable.

      And those who are unwilling to pay will be unwilling to pay regardless. With a 100% working DRM, you do not gain those customers. Percentage wise you will go from say 10% of people who illegally download to 0%.

      Money wise there will be no change. Instead of gaining the people who are unwilling to pay, you loose people who ARE willing to pay.

    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )

      Although I agree with you, trying to get them to do what we both would like to see is like trying to get a crackhead to stop smoking crack. It ain't gonna happen.

  • What affair? (Score:4, Informative)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:29AM (#24888003)
    the people behind the now infamous Dream Pinball affair,

    OK, I'll bite, what "now infamous Dream Pinball affair"? Gee Slashdot, this is the web and a post in HTML. Would it have been so much to ask that any such statement like this might contain a link to some past discussion about this now infamous thing that we are all supposedly in the know about? Is it too much to ask that an editor who accepts such a story either requires such strong statements to be supported or (if he's willing to do more than just accept a submission verbatim (you know what I mean, edit) put the link in?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      This is because of the woman who is facing a £16,000 ($32,000) fine for sharing Dream Pinball online. []

    • by sm62704 ( 957197 )

      I hadn't heard of it either, so I googled, planning to ridicule you on your lack of research skills.

      No ridicule here though, all the links google comes up with assume you already know about it. Wikipedia has no entry at all on "dream pinball". I fail it, too.

      Somebody's retarded, and it ain't you.

      • It shouldn't even be an issue of a lack of research skills, it should just be common sense in an HTML medium that one would include a link in such a serious statement. Yea, Google comes up pretty dry unless you find the magic words to key on, but if you are doing web journalism, as /. claims they are doing, (as well as calling the people who somewhat arbitrarily pick stories to be "editors"), then it's not unreasonable to set an expectation that links would be provided in such statements. I'm as peeved abou
        • by sm62704 ( 957197 )

          It shouldn't even be an issue of a lack of research skills

          I agree, it's a pet peve of mine, too. I shouldn't HAVE to research; literary research has traditionally been following citations ("links" in the online world). Usually when someone pulls that stunt, I google and then berate them for not adding a link. Once in a while I can find something that's completely outlandish (uncyclopedia, the onion, or a wikipedia article on something that sounds the same but isn't) and make them look REALLY dumb.

  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:31AM (#24888033)
    They're using Norwich Pharmcal court orders, which basically obligate someone mixed up in wrongdoing (i.e. ISPs) to hand over information related to that wrongdoing. However, in many cases the ISPs seem to be handing over information without a court order, or signing off a confirmation with the letter they get from Davenport Lyons so they don't have to turn up to the court order hearing. The court order is merely in case ISPs are worried about little things like the Data Protection Act. They can then invoice Davenport Lyons, and in one case Telewest invoiced for over £18,000.

    However, it seems that Davenport Lyons says that you can pay £300 and make all this legal stuff just 'go away'. I was under the impression that Norwich Pharmcal order were given out on a reasonable basis, simply because they can obviously be abused. I'm pretty sure that extortion, which is what this is pretty much, is against the terms of the order. You can't just use the order and the information you get from it to extract money from people.
  • by bhunachchicken ( 834243 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @10:33AM (#24888051) Homepage

    I swear this contravenes the Data Protection Act.

    And how come they are allowed to do such a thing?! One rule for them, another for us. Here's an example: The other day my brother calls me up to tell me he's lost his glasses. He's trekking in a jungle somewhere in Malaysia and now cannot see very well.

    However, he asks me to get his prescription details so he can get a pair made up there. I then call the optician and explain the predicament. But, to my dismay, they refuse to hand over the details because it is a breach of the Data Protection Act. Erm... WHAT?!!

    These ISPs should not be handing over any ones' details, at all. It's not like the users are planning to blow up Canary Wharf...

    • These ISPs should not be handing over any ones' details, at all. It's not like the users are planning to blow up Canary Wharf...

      Speak for your self. fortunately ill be switching from virgin to Be this weekend, hopefully they wont be so public with my details and hell even if they are then at least they wont be traffic shaping me while they do it

      • Virgin Media are fucking shit. I moved from them myself. Their service becomes unusual between 4pm and midnight. At one stage I couldn't even get onto Google without the connection timing out.

        • by Inda ( 580031 )

          Horses for courses.

          I have very little connection problems in the evening. Only once being hit by their throttling.

          Phorm does scare me though...

          Just got off the phone to them, had my TV package upgraded to include Setanta and all the kid's channels, got a free wireless router in the post and a reduction of £12 a month. All I had to do was ask. Give it a few months and I'll ask for another V+ box for upstairs...

    • by gsslay ( 807818 )

      I swear this contravenes the Data Protection Act.

      You don't know much about the data protect act then.

      The very significant difference between Topware Interactive's endevours, and the tale of your brother's glasses, is that your story doesn't involve a High Court Order. If you had sent one of these to your brother's opticians you would have his prescription details double quick. Same laws apply.

  • Well it's difficult to fight back but there is a way.

    EVERYONE STOP buying the games from this company. PIRATE ALL of their games.

    They want to play hard lets play harder, lets stop their revenue completely and force them to file a chapter 11.

    Maybe the botnets could do some good, they could host & advertise the pirate copies


    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Pvt_Ryan ( 1102363 )

      I should probably add teh following disclaimer:

      I do not support or codone piracy in any way shape or form. The views expressed above are not my own.

  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The correct response to such a request is a unanimous "no" from all large ISPs, and to await the fine.

    Then to put up subscription prices accordingly to reflect the amount of the fine.

    Then all users of those ISPs know what the "rights holders" are doing.

    Then it gets press coverage.

    Then everyone knows.

    Then people start to whine.

    Then politicians see a bandwagon to ride.

    Then the law gets changed.

    But it has to start with atlas shrugging.

    And I hate myself for making the Ayn Rand reference, sorry, but a group of p

    • goodluckwiththat.
    • That'll work - unless at least one ISP rolls over, avoiding the fine and thus the need to increase subscription costs. Consumers, uninterested in why all the service providers except X have raised prices, say "Fuck that, I'm switching to X - it's cheaper".

  • I don't know about the pinball thingy, but generally, in the UK, you can see all the TV you want on iPlayer or any of the major and minor channels' own players - or just download Miro and thereby take part in legal, CC licensed or public domain video torrenting so as to watch whatever you want that's not spoonfed by media companies.

    Same goes for online music - you can listen for ages on jamendo, or magnatunes, and an ever increasing number of net labels on etc, without ever so much as a

    • The iplayer is the only useful one. The others use Kontiki practically malware.. it's Windows only, can't be easily uninstalled (add/remove programs does *not* uninstall it) and sucks your bandwidth whether you're using it or not. For the majority of poeple with bandwidth limits it's just not an option.

  • by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:03AM (#24888483)
    Recently there was lot of UK press about someone being made to cough up £16K for sharing MP3s. What the press omitted to say was that Davenport Lyons wrote to thousands of people saying 'You owe us £6K for piracy!'. Almost everyone wrote back and said 'No we don't, prove it'. DL did no more. The rest of the recipients ignored the letter and in the case in question, the person didn't even bother to turn up at court so got the full amount of £6K plus £10K costs against them.
    I suspect they know damn well all they have is some basic data and not enough for any sort of solid case. Did they have entire files? Did the file signatures match known cheksums of copyright files? Were the connections wireless and unencrypted? Are there multiple users on a single PC etc. etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 )

      The reason they didn't turn up is because they didn't actually know there was a court case against them - they had moved house and the lawyers didn't bother to find out the new address. How the hell they managed to get a judgement when the accused didn't even know they'd been accused of anything I've no idea.

  • Sorry, do we talk about "Pinball Dreams", on Amiga ? []

  • If you look at the article over at the register [] and the court order they link to [] you'll see that the information handover took place at the end of June (or July for BT).

    There are lots of reports of them getting this stuff totally wrong though. Also the people gathering the data have apparently been pretty much banned in France/Germany, hence trying their luck in the UK.

    I don't think this'll last long, but on the other hand it could ruin some lives in the mean time.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @11:20AM (#24888697) Homepage

    Alan Sugar got rich by making a HiFi with twin cassette units. If you didn't have one yourself, you knew somebody who did. Suddenly *everybody* could copy tapes easily (and at double speed!)

    Home taping was rampant. I knew people with tens of thousands of tapes in their room.

    The record business didn't die then, in fact their boom years came long afterwards.

    How come Alan Sugar got a knighthood but these days we're throwing away all due process over the exact same "crime".

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      That's it. You're FIRED!!

      And you mispronounced his name twice, too. It isn't Alan, OK? It's SrAlan. Practice it. 'SrAlan, please have mercy on my soul'.

  • Game, set, match... (Score:2, Informative)

    by harrie_o ( 1350423 )
    Look people, its all over. Why persist in trading copyrighted materials using Bit-torrent?

    To find anyone who is using bt to get an illegal file is like shooting-fish-in-a-barrel. Its not rocket science. To get a file sharer's name all any corporation has to do is:

    1) attempt to download the file (just a tiny bit).

    2) snap the list of peers that have 100-percent (cut and paste) and note the time in GMT (UTC).

    3) end the download before you got anything

    4) using ping -a to lookup the
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      that's been going on in the US for a decade, the p2p use continues to rise, the risk of being sued continues to diminish.

      Game, set, match all right. The people win.

    • You know, if people really did stop, I bet that the music - and to a lesser extent the TV - industry's profits would go into a decline. I don't listen to pop music to begin with, but I see people on IRC DCCing stuff or linking torrents to each other all the time, saying "Hey have you heard this?!" It's a big source of popularity, and pirates are customers too.
    • by dwandy ( 907337 )

      5) write letter to ISP demanding its logs of what customer was on that IP address at that time.

      to which the correct ISP response is, got warrant?

      and when you don't, they say "piss off, come back with a warrant".
      and so you wander off to the judge and say i've got these IP addresses I want to know who owns them, and the judge says: on what basis? and you say 'cause I saw them on the BitTorrent downloading, and stuff. To which he says, "Your word as an interested individual that they did this isn't reasonab

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Without downloading anything all that proves is that a particular IP is advertising a particular set of files with a particular checksum. This has two major flaws:

      1) Just because the computer in question says it has the file, doesn't mean it has all of it. You'd need to download 100% (or at least enough to prove they have at least some of your IP) from this single machine to prove they really have what they say they have. I could setup a honey pot to make these people believe I'm sharing such a file but it

  • I thought Britain had better privacy laws than in the USA where, while the RIAA is still getting data as we speak, it's getting harder and harder for them and many defendants are able to challenge at the initial John Doe stage.

    What would happen if every one of these cases decided to go to court over this?

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.