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BPI Requests ISPs Suspend Suspected Filesharers 224

MartinJW writes "The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has written to two of the UKs larger ISPs, Tiscali and Cable & Wireless, asking them to suspend the accounts of 59 users they have identified as 'illegal file sharers.' The BPI says they have 'unequivocal evidence' of IP addresses that were used to upload 'significant quantities' of music. Although the IP addresses were used to identify the ISPs involved, the providers are the only people able to identify the exact individuals responsible. This marks a significant change in the BPI's tactics; previously they have targeted individuals but it seems that they are now taking it one step further and requesting the ISPs take decisive action to uphold the terms in their own 'acceptable use policies.'"
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BPI Requests ISPs Suspend Suspected Filesharers

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  • by HMC CS Major ( 540987 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @02:59AM (#15696250) Homepage
    ISPs have very strict AUPs, and will probably kill the cheap accounts rather than risk a lawsuit. Realistically speaking, if I were running an ISP, I'd do the same thing.

    It's worth noting that the users may not be intentionally violating the (civil) law, it may just be open proxies or misconfigured P2P clients, in which case the accounts can be re-established later (after reasonable assurance that the problem's been 'fixed').
  • Oh and did anyone else notice that if this happens then people are being punished without ever having seen a judge or even a police officer. No sworn in official will be involved just people from two companies. Welcome to the justice system of the 21st century.

    Grand stand much?

    A private business has every right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason ( despite what the equal rights groups may tell you ).

    This isn't a government organization exacting punitive measures against citizens on a private organizations say-so. This is one private org asking another to "punish" their customers.

    Their paying customers. Which to me seems like a bad idea. But whatever.
  • by peope ( 584706 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @03:40AM (#15696338)
    Here in Sweden ISPs have warned and disconnected people accused of copyright infringement.
    However in recent time people have been aware of the issue and some ISPs has gone against the practice.
    Nowadays ISPs here are reluctant to be known as a party to disconnect you because of those reasons.
    Customers simply move away from their services.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @03:47AM (#15696344) Homepage
    I'm really very sympathetic to the cause of file sharing. I only see the file-sharing-universe as the participant that I am. I don't do it all that much but I feel a bit grateful for those that share stuff... whether intentionally or not. (Hehehe... one of my favorite boredom-killing past times is to open a gnutella client and search for p*.jpg or *.doc or *.xls... you might be surprised as what people are stupid enough to share!)

    As a rule, if I really want something, I buy it. I would like to assume (and from what I hear it's generally true) that when people fully appreciate something or functionally use it, they buy it. That goes for software, music, movies... whatever... okay, I admit I don't buy porn... but anyway.

    But if ever there was a "correct" approach to their handling, this would be it. Their [the clients'] anonymity is preserved. They don't get a criminal record. They don't pay thousands to defend themselves. They don't settle for large amounts of money. And in my guess, the worst they might initially get is an interruption of service as a warning and probably resume connectivity (after turning off sharing) shortly thereafter and lives go generally unharmed.

    It's not that bad really.
  • Unequivocal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kaemaril ( 266849 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @04:53AM (#15696468)

    "We are providing unequivocal evidence of copyright infringement via their services"

    I'd like to see that evidence. The article suggests it's IP addresses associated with uploads. At worst it's simply the IP address and at best surely it could only be a list of IP addresses and what they uploaded - i.e, IP address uploaded (file) on (date and time) to (server).

    Is that enough to be 'unequivocal'? And if so, since the article also suggests they're only after those who upload a lot ('It was unacceptable for ISPs to turn a "blind eye to industrial-scale copyright infringement", said BPI chairman Peter Jamieson.') why aren't they going after these guys for damages in court instead of going the easy route of simply shutting them off? After all, it's likely they'll simply go to another ISP ...

  • Re:Unequivocal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pofy ( 471469 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @05:22AM (#15696517)
    >And if so, since the article also suggests they're only after those who upload a lot....

    Which makes one wonder how they know someone has uploaded "a lot".
  • by sauron_of_mordor ( 931508 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @06:17AM (#15696654)
    Hmm the BPI has my IP address, the ISP has my personal details. The ISP cannot provide my detail to the BPI due to the data protection act. How will the BPI *know* whether or not the ISP terminated my contract? If the ISP cannot inform the BPI in a reliable fashion that they did terminate a particular account (after all the IP changes and is dynamic), then why should the ISP bother to lose a customer? SoM
  • Pot - Kettle - Black (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrStrangeLug ( 799458 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:09AM (#15696779)
    Wasn't the BPI found guilty back in 2002 of defrauding the artists they represent by not passing on the royalties ? If we could find some artists who think they're getting ripped off then it's a safe bet that some of the financial dealings are done over the BPI's internet connection so thats grounds for having their connection terminated. It's unacceptable for an ISP to turn a blind eye to corperate corruption and lawbreaking by their customers.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:12AM (#15696791)

    In the UK, even most of the "obvious" personal uses are infringing at present, though the majority of the population don't know this and do continue to do these things anyway. A review is underway that will hopefully result in fixing this particular legal daftness.

  • by brunos ( 629303 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:38AM (#15697139)
    I am not sure what happened next, knowing the boss I guess he got some kind of compensation. The problem was that for a while no one in my company or at BT knew what was going on: panic everywhere. The only other time that something as bad happened was when I worked at the ministry of employment (in Egypt) with a microsoft stack which had a licensing cap on the maximum number of connections. Microsoft then gave us access to a great website with all their software that we could use without any license restrictions ... There were some really nice programs in there that I never saw on sale anywhere. Bill Gates himself came to visit, and got the Egyptian goverment to standardize on microsoft produts :-(

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