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Record companies ask ISPs to provide illegal downloader data

by Mark Tyson on 2 September 2013, 12:15

Tags: BPI, Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED), TalkTalk

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab2ev

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Record companies, represented by the BPI, will meet up with PM David Cameron on 12th September. These media content rights holders will be asking for government help to push major internet service providers (ISPs) to sign-up to providing details on illegal downloaders, in order to police such activity. The Guardian reports that combating digital piracy by compiling a list of illegal downloaders and implementing a kind of ‘three strikes’ policy is what the media rights holders are striving for.

BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk have been asked by the BPI and British Video Association to sign up to a voluntary code to create a database of file sharers. Under the scheme those found to be illegally downloading would get a series of warning letters with directions to legal alternative sources. If the first three letters didn’t curtail user behaviour a number of actions/sanctions could then be taken; the user might find their connection throttled, further site blocking implemented, internet disconnection and “ultimately prosecution”.

Media content rights holders are irked that The Digital Economy Act, designed to help combat piracy, has yet to be implemented despite becoming law in 2010. It is thought that the government will not enforce these new laws before the next general election.

Two of the major ISPs listed, Virgin and Talk Talk have both negatively commented on the collection of user data for this download policing activity. Talk Talk’s concerns were that such data collection is questionable activity under the Data Protection Act. “We are involved in discussions about measures to address illegal file-sharing and ultimately would like to reach a voluntary agreement. However our customers' rights always come first and we would never agree to anything that could compromise them,” said a spokesperson for Talk Talk. Meanwhile over at Virgin; “Music and film companies are speaking to broadband providers about how to address illegal file-sharing but what they're currently proposing is unworkable,” commented spokesperson Emma Hutchinson.

Recent Ofcom statistics show that between November 2012 and January 2013, UK internet users illegally downloaded 280 million music tracks, 52 million TV shows, 29 million films, 18 million eBooks and 7 million computer games. The data also revealed that around 18 per cent of UK internet users admit to recently downloading pirated files but only 9 per cent fear getting caught.



HEXUS Forums :: 26 Comments

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Clearly this law doesn't have an ounce of legitimacy. It's no wonder the government is keeping implementation off as long as possible. Knowing that, why are they not working to strike it off the books?
I've always wondered how they track illegal downloads.
I mean I know about torrents and how they can track you using them.

What about when it comes to downloading from fileshare websites like rapidshare and the rest?
Could they possibly get a list of every single website visited?
Lil-Diabo
I've always wondered how they track illegal downloads.
I mean I know about torrents and how they can track you using them.

What about when it comes to downloading from fileshare websites like rapidshare and the rest?
Could they possibly get a list of every single website visited?

They can't get reliable figures. Every one of the figures about downloading cited are guesstimates, too many of them simply just pulled out of their asses.
Just out of interest have the film and music companies heard about data protection?

ISPs would need my permission to share such information. I bet the current DPA permissions that we all sign up to when taking broadband do not cover this point.

So what the film and music companies are proposing is illegal. Maybe some consumer organisation should take them to court for conspiring to carry out illegal activities
I am curious as to who is actually pirating music still in this day and age.

When I was a lad it was first .midi files, then mp3 explosion happened. It was honestly the easiest way of getting music.

Music industry has always had a kind of differential pricing. Poor people listen to the radio, then when vinyl became popular, richer people could listen to the song whenever they wanted, they didn't have to wait. The latter was more profitable, radio advertising wasn't as big at revenue extraction than buying the record.

But now, we have this for free. Radio streaming services provide music to the poor for free with adverts (Musicovery,Pandora,Spotify Free, Xbox Music Free etc), then you have the slightly more well healed who go for Spotify Premium or Xbox Music Pass, but you also have those who spend even more cash buying the CD so they can have lossless.

You also have YouTube for a relatively, almost, play right now on demand type thing.

Who the hell still pirates music?