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[ARS] UK ISP bows to record industry, to send P2P warning letters

post #1 of 17
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As we noted yesterday, one of the fondest dreams of the recording industry is to get Internet service providers to help them police the content flowing across their networks. Now, British ISP Virgin Media has taken a halting step in that general direction by agreeing to work with the BPI, the UK equivalent of the RIAA which represents the interests of the recording industry in that country. The agreement will have Virgin sending out warning letters to those who the BPI has identified as sharing copyrighted material.

Early reports of the negotiations between Virgin Media and the BPI had suggested that the ISP was considering adopting a draconian "three strikes and you're out" policy, in which it would disconnect repeat offenders. That approach, however, has since found limited support in the European Parliament, although the UK Parliament is apparently considering legislation that would compel its implementation. For now, however, the two organizations will apparently settle for sending potential infringers nastygrams.

The Register claims to have obtained samples of the letters that will be sent by Virgin and the BPI (both PDFs), and the possibility of disconnects is only mentioned obliquely; the BPI letter simply indicates, "We don’t want you to face legal action or risk losing your internet service." Most of the threats focus on legal action, but the majority of the text of both letters is appropriate for an educational campaign. The BPI's chief executive stated, "Education is absolutely key to reducing the extent of illegal downloading, and we are pleased to be working with Virgin Media on this campaign" in announcing the program.

The letters point out the differences between legal music purchases and copyright violations through file-sharing. They also assume that users may not be aware that file-sharing is happening down their connection, suggesting that files may be shared through malware or by someone hopping on to an unsecured wireless router. Both organizations offer the recipients access to antivirus and the other security software they host.

Given the relatively mild nature of the letters, the implications of the program are probably more important than the actions it entails. The program suggests that at least some ISPs are beginning to take action on file-sharing that's not directly related to the network congestion it involves. Perhaps more importantly, it may lay the groundwork for the record industry to claim that education alone isn't sufficient should the program have a negligible impact on file-sharing at Virgin. That could provide them exactly what they need to push through the harsher legislation being considered.

Of course, the entire program relies on the recording industry's ability to accurately identify file-sharers. No word yet on how the letters will be delivered to misidentified printers.
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post #2 of 17
It wont happen, do you know how many people download music for free in this contry? virgin media will lose out of millions of pounds because people will just get banned and move onto somthing else.

Wont happen.
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post #3 of 17
yay virgin media sucks. since it became virgin media i've had problems. even had it cut out for a couple of days... at least i buy all my music, one thing that shouldnt annoy me about them. wish there was an alternative cable provider here in the UK.
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post #4 of 17
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It wont happen, do you know how many people download music for free in this contry? virgin media will lose out of millions of pounds because people will just get banned and move onto somthing else.

Wont happen.
Yes I know how many people download music for free in this country as well as other urban countries.
This should be failed at this moment and ended at U.K.

Internet = Internetworking, International Network should be controlled by PEOPLE.
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post #5 of 17
In the worst case this would simply mean that whichever ISP's follow Virgin media would simply stop providing internet access to those who download copyrighted media. At least the DPA protects UK citizens from the lawsuits that the US has.
post #6 of 17
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Originally Posted by t4ct1c47 View Post
In the worst case this would simply mean that whichever ISP's follow Virgin media would simply stop providing internet access to those who download copyrighted media. At least the DPA protects UK citizens from the lawsuits that the US has.
Which is why it wont happen, virgin media will lose out in the end not the people.
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post #7 of 17
so everyone knows, the BPI are ALOT LOT less annoying than RIAA
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post #8 of 17
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Originally Posted by Norse View Post
so everyone knows, the BPI are ALOT LOT less annoying than RIAA
yer but they are still greedy [insert explicit noun here]!!!
    
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post #9 of 17
Considering UK's policy on personal freedom and surveillance I'm not surprised. I just hope these faulty measures don't reach the rest of Europe.

It's really great living in a world where control, surveillance and strict regulations are the primary concerns of politicians and such and not the people's well being.
post #10 of 17
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Originally Posted by XenoRad View Post
Considering UK's policy on personal freedom and surveillance I'm not surprised. I just hope these faulty measures don't reach the rest of Europe.

It's really great living in a world where control, surveillance and strict regulations are the primary concerns of politicians and such and not the people's well being.
Though I do agree with that opinion, I don't necessarily think it's acceptable to apply it to an ISP dumping customers who use it's service to steal things.
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