facebook rss twitter

UK ISPs and entertainment industry agree on piracy letters

by Mark Tyson on 9 May 2014, 12:30

Tags: Ofcom, British Telecom (LON:BT.A), Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED), BPI, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacd7n

Add to My Vault: x

A deal between the UK ISPs and the entertainment industry is nearing completion according to a report by the BBC today. Apparently the measures agreed upon are "considerably weaker" than what the media industry were seeking. Suspected pirates will be simply sent "educational" letters, starting next year, with no punitive escalation measures in place.

The BPI, representing the British music industry, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), representing the film industry were understood to be seeking the implementation of letters that would escalate, to spell out punitive measures against repeat piracy offenders. Also these industry bodies wanted to be able to access a database of such 'offenders' so they could go after them by other legal means. However these wishes have been largely ignored in the final draft of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap).

The major UK ISPs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have already agreed to be part of this scheme and will send out these educational letters, which make users aware of legal downloading alternatives, starting in 2015. According to the BBC the ISPs are "ecstatic," over this watered down Vcap final draft as it means they don't have to be seen to be strong-arm policing their customers. Also they will get paid fees for the extra work this agreement entails. However it is thought that if these softly-softly letters don't have any appreciable impact on piracy then a deal might be in place to step up to a much more aggressive piracy curbing deal.

In a parallel effort by the media industry over 40 piracy source websites are blocked by the major UK ISPs. MediaTel Newsline reports that Ofcom figures show that "one in six UK internet users over the age of 12 consumed at least one item of online content illegally," during a three month period spanning Nov 2012 to Jan 2013.

Now let's hope that some moderation in behaviour keeps the piracy problem and punishment of suspected pirates out of the headlines and the legal wolves away from families' doors.

HEXUS Forums :: 37 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
So…if its just an education letter, the ISPs could just send one to every customer and say they did their part.

After all, if theyre being sent to “suspected pirates”, most homes probably have at least 1 person that might have possibly downloaded something they werent entitled to, even unintentionally.
Waste of time, waste of money, waste of paper.
ISP's shouldn't be responsible for policing the Internet.
Should we ask the Royal Mail to police what is sent through the post, or telecoms companies for how people use the phone, should other suppliers of services be responsible for how people use it.
Or.. shock Horror.. the media industry could stop butt raping us all all do the following.

a) Allow you to purchase and watch a film in the medium that you see fit.. If I want to watch the latest blockbuster at home why can't I… I would pay for it..

b) Stop manipulating release dates. Games on the first Friday in the UK but 2 weeks before in the USA

c) Allow people to purchase a service from anywhere in the world. I would subscribe to HBO if I was able for example

d) etc

I think a more interesting study would be how much piracy is down to availability rather than the avoidance of paying. A good start would be the metric of download count of a game available via Steam or Origin vs one that's not available. Or a game that is released in one country before all the others..
My brother got one of the scaremongering letters over a year ago from BE…..I told him to ask them to prove his Wifi was not compromised as he had no knowledge of the downloads in question…..

They tried a couple more times to scare him into giving them a fair amount of money but eventually gave up.

I guess a lot of people did the same and they realised they had no ground to stand on.