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The Courts The Internet United Kingdom News

30,000 UK ISP Users Face Threat Letters For Suspected Illegal File Sharing 218

Mark.JUK writes with this excerpt from ISP Review: "Solicitors at ACS:Law have been granted approval by the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the private personal details of some 30,000 customers suspected of involvement with illegal file sharing from UK broadband ISPs. The customers concerned are 'suspected' of illegally file sharing (P2P) approximately 291 movie titles, they now face threatening demands for money (settlement) or risk the prospect of court action. It's noted that 25,000 of the IP addresses that have been collected belong to BT users."
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30,000 UK ISP Users Face Threat Letters For Suspected Illegal File Sharing

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  • Better in Italy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:13AM (#30244788)

    Strange to say, but in Italy we protect more our privacy than in UK: our Data Privacy Authority decided that it's against the law to provide a correspondence between IP Address and real person name if the suspected violation is only for copyright issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:22AM (#30244828)

    that's downloading, not sharing. Unless you also run an FTP server. It's not the same thing

  • BT's Statement (Score:5, Informative)

    by bencoder ( 1197139 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:38AM (#30244934)

    I am very impressed by the statement from BT:

    A BT Spokesperson told ISPreview in September:

    "BT and other ISPs agreed to send 1,000 notifications alleging copyright infringement a week for a 12-week trial period, with BT picking up the bill for this activity for our own customers as an act of goodwill. However, it was understood that at the end of this period, we would need to take stock and have further discussions with the rights holders about costs etc.

    During this period, the BPI sent us around 21,000 alleged cases, but less than two-thirds proved to be properly matched to an IP address of a BT customer and not a duplicate, so this could indicate that the true extent of this activity is much lower than the 100,000 number the BPI claim since February. In addition since none of the customers we wrote to during the trial were subsequently taken to court by the BPI, we don't know whether they were actually guilty of infringement."

    I never knew BT could actually sound reasonable. What a shame governments are still left trailing behind on common sense and decency.

  • by twoshortplanks ( 124523 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:41AM (#30244946) Homepage
    Er...in this case BT refers to the communications company British Telecom, not Bittorrent.
  • by arethuza ( 737069 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:52AM (#30245000)
    Doubleplus ungood thoughtcrime!! Copyright infringement is stealing. Copyright infringement has always been stealing.
  • by mrpacmanjel ( 38218 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @09:56AM (#30245032)

    If you go to the ACS web site thier definition of infringement seems to only apply to P2P traffic and even then seems to be limited to uploads.

    Anyone with half a brain-cell would not use P2P networks for piracy anyway!

    If you are really worried, the article has a link to http://www.beingthreatened.com/ [beingthreatened.com] - they seem to have some genuine advice.

    By the way if you decide to pay the fine, it means you have admitted to guilt and will not be able to contest it or get your money back!
    If you recieve a letter asking for payment under NO circumstances pay it!

    Also, reply to the letter as soon as you can - you have a limited time to respond to it (cannot remember how long).

  • by Deth_Master ( 598324 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @10:15AM (#30245142) Homepage Journal
    http://torrentfreak.com/how-to-encrypt-bittorrent-traffic/ [torrentfreak.com]
    Just turn on encryption in your favorite torrent client, and only allow encrypted connections. In combination with the Distributed Hash Table [wikipedia.org], Magnet Links [wikipedia.org], and Peer Exchange [wikipedia.org], an entirely decentralized file sharing system will work
  • by Mortice ( 467747 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:19AM (#30245644)

    It's also a correct spelling in British English. Please see this page [askoxford.com].

  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @11:27AM (#30245734) Journal

    if millions of people find a particular type of behaviour acceptable that it should be legalised?

    No. To use the often recycled example, the majority of people once thought that slavery was an acceptable practice, but that doesn't mean it should have been. This isn't to say that downloading and slavery are immediately comparable, but rather that a thing isn't necessarily right because "a lot of people are doing/supporting it."

    On the other hand, the huge amount of torrent users shows a fundamental lack of support from the industry for what could be a viable market. Unfortunately it may very well be a case of "too little, too late" to tap, but had they done so they probably could have been making an extra chunk-'o'-change by this point off of online downloads. Things like the iTunes store are definitely still profitable.

    They may still have a chance though. Personally, if I could purchase the various episodes of shows I like to watch for a reasonable price (at they are released), especially if they were sans commercials, I'd have my wallet open pretty quickly. Cable and even satellite seem to be dying media, and being able to pick-and-choose what you want online could be a fairly easy sell for studios. Even if they only charged something under a buck, they'd probably still make a fair bit of cash, especially if they threw a few ads on the website (not the video) for related products (e.g. if you're watching a season 2 episode of "show X" and season 1 is available on DVD, advertise!).

  • Re:It will never end (Score:2, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:34PM (#30246358) Journal

    Jesus dude, you make some really great points, but haven't you ever heard of the <p> tag?

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:57PM (#30246554) Journal
    Uh, Airstrip One. Geek card please.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday November 27, 2009 @12:59PM (#30246578) Journal
    Technically, information is stuff that isn't noise. Noise is stuff that is random. Random sequences are those that can't be generated by a program that is smaller than the data, and therefore can't be compressed. Hollywood movies are being distributed in compressed form, therefore can be compressed, and are therefore information. Mind you, so is a sine wave.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 27, 2009 @01:39PM (#30246934)

    That's because that's all that's illegal in the UK - you can read the act..


    Downloading for private use is legal.

    Uploading to people (especially outside the country)

    It's something that they keep very, very quiet.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"