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UK ISP Adopts "Three Strikes" Policy for Illegal Filesharers

APZonerunnerAPZonerunner Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
I don't know if there's been a thread about this already as it was announced in march (I did do a quick search), but this was on the TV news a few minutes ago here, with first reactions from the people who recieved warning letters from the ISP.
The UK's largest residential broadband provider, Virgin Media, has announced its intention to introduce a warning system for those caught engaged in illegal downloading (piracy). It is expected to be very similar to the controversial "Three-Strikes" method proposed by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and will go live within the next few months.

Customers found to be involved with piracy could expect a warning and possible disconnection from their ISP if the activity continued:

This would be the first time a British internet company has publicly moved to share responsibility for curbing piracy. Two years of negotiations between record labels and internet service providers (ISPs) have so far failed to produce an industry-wide agreement.

A spokesman for Virgin Media said: "We have been in discussions with rights holders organisations about how a voluntary scheme could work. We are taking this problem seriously and would favour a sensible voluntary solution."

The government has already threatened to introduce enforced legislation by April next year unless ISPs agree to some form of voluntary measures with the creative industries.

The Telegraph reports that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is due to publish its consultation paper outlining potential legal measures this April. Meanwhile, readers seeking to catch up on the issue should check out our recent "To Ban or Not to Ban (Illegal File Sharers)" special editorial summary on the subject.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/news/EkpylyVFEVprNOiCbo.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7486743.stm

It goes without saying, this is very interesting. What I'm interested most of all is how they tell the difference between illegally downloaded content and legal filesharing/P2P stuff. Still.. just warnings, and they can't do anything about it for real? Education? This all feels like a bit of a PR exercise to me.

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    CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    How will they define piracy?

    Couscous on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It goes without saying, this is very interesting. What I'm interested most of all is how they tell the difference between illegally downloaded content and legal filesharing/P2P stuff.

    Usually by uploading stuff themselves and tracking the IPs that connect. Then they go to whoever administers that IP and notifies them. That way, theoretically, the copyright holder doesn't need to find out who the person is.

    EDIT: It's also worth noting that It's primarily Virgin and BT that are doing this, other ISPs are either keeping quiet for now, or refusing to co-operate with any such scheme (notably Carphone Warehouse).

    japan on
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    kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    So if you do something provably illegal, they'll give you a warning?

    Isn't the appropriate policy if you're going to monitor for illegal activity to alter the authorities?

    I'm not up on common carrier type laws in the UK, I'm pretty sure if a US company did this they'd stand to become liable for illegal content carried on their networks, since they're aware of it and actively looking for it.

    kildy on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ah, so people are getting punished without a jury trial now. I was wondering how long it would take.

    Daedalus on
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    kildy wrote: »
    So if you do something provably illegal, they'll give you a warning?

    Isn't the appropriate policy if you're going to monitor for illegal activity to alter the authorities?

    Hello there, welcome to Europe. We're not that fucked up yet.. Actually you know what? Even "distributors" have some protection:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,326377,00.html

    I'm not up on common carrier type laws in the UK, I'm pretty sure if a US company did this they'd stand to become liable for illegal content carried on their networks, since they're aware of it and actively looking for it.

    Tell me you didn't just say that. Let's not go there AGAIN. US cable ISP's are not common carriers and even they don't have monitoring responsibility. Check the ISP thread regarding verizon cutting newsgroups from a while back.

    Finally, the idea was a draft paper, as far as I know. I don't think any ISP would actually make such a move alone, respectively all ISP's would NEVER go that way at the same time without legislation, and such legislation(if by some incredible luck ISP's accept policing, which is insane as it's a step closer to accepting liability) would be challenged in front of the EU court immediately as a privacy issue, all in all, the "3 strikes" policy could never even approach implementation, IMO.
    The way the french are going is way, way worse:
    http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number5.23/french-agreement-piracy

    zeeny on
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    nosnibornosnibor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Ah, so people are getting punished without a jury trial now. I was wondering how long it would take.

    These are private companies denying their private service to people who break the terms of service. Pardon me if I don't see this as a terrible thing. They are just covering their asses so they don't get sued for enabling piracy.

    nosnibor on
    When you're a spy, it's a good idea to give away your trade secrets in a voiceover on a TV show.
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Ah, so people are getting punished without a jury trial now. I was wondering how long it would take.

    These are private companies denying their private service to people who break the terms of service. Pardon me if I don't see this as a terrible thing. They are just covering their asses so they don't get sued for enabling piracy.

    They can not get sued. Please people, stop saying that.
    Under the E-Commerce Directive, an ISP is exempt from liability when it serves as a "mere conduit" (Article 12) or provides "temporary caching" (Article 13) for the sole purpose of making the transmission of content more efficient, is of a mere technical, automatic and passive nature, and where the ISP has neither knowledge nor control over the content being transmitted or stored.[xi]

    Article 15 of the E-commerce Directive prevents Member States from imposing a "general obligation to monitor" content which they transmit or store as provided in Articles 12, 13 and 14, nor a general obligation to "actively seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity."[xiv] This Article, however, does not prevent courts or administrative authorities of Member States from imposing a monitoring obligation in a specific, defined individual case.

    Just stop it. Please. Except the crazy case in Belgium where they made filtering mandatory there is 'no other kind of liability they face and even that will most likely be struck down.

    zeeny on
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    nosnibornosnibor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    zeeny wrote: »
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Ah, so people are getting punished without a jury trial now. I was wondering how long it would take.

    These are private companies denying their private service to people who break the terms of service. Pardon me if I don't see this as a terrible thing. They are just covering their asses so they don't get sued for enabling piracy.

    They can not get sued. Please people, stop saying that.
    Under the E-Commerce Directive, an ISP is exempt from liability when it serves as a "mere conduit" (Article 12) or provides "temporary caching" (Article 13) for the sole purpose of making the transmission of content more efficient, is of a mere technical, automatic and passive nature, and where the ISP has neither knowledge nor control over the content being transmitted or stored.[xi]

    Article 15 of the E-commerce Directive prevents Member States from imposing a "general obligation to monitor" content which they transmit or store as provided in Articles 12, 13 and 14, nor a general obligation to "actively seek facts or circumstances indicating illegal activity."[xiv] This Article, however, does not prevent courts or administrative authorities of Member States from imposing a monitoring obligation in a specific, defined individual case.

    Just stop it. Please. Except the crazy case in Belgium where they made filtering mandatory there is 'no other kind of liability they face and even that will most likely be struck down.

    Ok, my mistake. That's what I was told a few years ago when I got dinged by the university ISP for illegal filesharing. If it's true that they can't get sued, then my guess is they are a)afraid of future legislation that could make them liable, or b) concerned with a small number of users hogging the majority of the bandwidth.

    I admit I'm no expert, and this really doesn't directly affect me because I don't download anything anymore, legal or illegal. However, I just don't understand how this is outrageous at all. People, you don't have a right to pirate copyrighted material. End of story.

    nosnibor on
    When you're a spy, it's a good idea to give away your trade secrets in a voiceover on a TV show.
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    b) concerned with a small number of users hogging the majority of the bandwidth.

    ding ding ding, we have a winner!

    Cable/DSL companies sell at a flat rate per month, but bandwidth doesn't cost them a flat rate per customer/month, oh no. They will make money from most customers and lose money from a few high-bandwidth users, not all of whom are filthy unwashed pirates.
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Ah, so people are getting punished without a jury trial now. I was wondering how long it would take.

    These are private companies denying their private service to people who break the terms of service. Pardon me if I don't see this as a terrible thing. [strike]They are just covering their asses so they don't get sued for enabling piracy.[/strike]
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.

    Daedalus on
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    b) concerned with a small number of users hogging the majority of the bandwidth.

    ding ding ding, we have a winner!

    Cable/DSL companies sell at a flat rate per month, but bandwidth doesn't cost them a flat rate per customer/month, oh no. They will make money from most customers and lose money from a few high-bandwidth users, not all of whom are filthy unwashed pirates.

    European peering & transit agreements should disagree with you. I can't be sure, but I seriously, seriously doubt money is lost on any one customer. Do you have an actual source for that?

    zeeny on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.

    Not nearly as bad here. Local Loop unbundling means that BT (who own the phone infrastructure) are required to allow competitors access to the cables between the exchange and the customer. As such there are quite a few ISPs that do ADSL.

    As far as I know Virgin is they only option for Cable, though.

    Also, interestingly, Carphone Warehouse (who run Talktalk) seem absolutely determined to pick a fight over this, and it's been noted that they have significantly more money and legal muscle than the BPI.

    japan on
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    nosnibornosnibor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.


    Seriously I have no problem with this either. High-speed internet access, or any internet access for that matter, is a privilege, not a right.

    If you break the rules, they have every right to infract you or ban you if they so choose. Kind of like these forums here.

    nosnibor on
    When you're a spy, it's a good idea to give away your trade secrets in a voiceover on a TV show.
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.


    Seriously I have no problem with this either. High-speed internet access, or any internet access for that matter, is a privilege, not a right.

    If you break the rules, they have every right to infract you or ban you if they so choose. Kind of like these forums here.

    Ehh. When you have a government-sponsored monopoly it's on par with municipal electricity, water, natural gas, etc. services in my mind. When you have no opportunity to defend yourself from accusations of breaking the rules, it's not really a fair system.

    Daedalus on
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    japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.


    Seriously I have no problem with this either. High-speed internet access, or any internet access for that matter, is a privilege, not a right.

    If you break the rules, they have every right to infract you or ban you if they so choose. Kind of like these forums here.

    That's if you break the rules. What the BPI's voluntary system does is hand them the power to disconnect someone's internet connection entirely on their say-so. There isn't exactly a very high standard of evidence here.

    japan on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.


    Seriously I have no problem with this either. High-speed internet access, or any internet access for that matter, is a privilege, not a right.

    If you break the rules, they have every right to infract you or ban you if they so choose. Kind of like these forums here.

    Some people, myself personally, believe that Internet access should be universal especially considering in today's age that the lack of access places one at an immense disadvantage economically/socially than one with access.

    I wouldn't be opposed to fines if caught actively distributing copyrighted materials (provided it's actually illegal in one's country) in sufficient quantities to pose a harm to the original author, but I don't think they should be allowed in this instance to cut you off.

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    nosnibornosnibor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    nosnibor wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Dunno about in the UK, but here they're a government-sponsored monopoly, and if you get banned from one or two high-speed internet providers, there likely aren't any more in your area, and that means you don't get high-speed Internet (or internet at all, if your phone company is one of those providers, as they would be for DSL!). We're not talking about, say, a retail establishment here.


    Seriously I have no problem with this either. High-speed internet access, or any internet access for that matter, is a privilege, not a right.

    If you break the rules, they have every right to infract you or ban you if they so choose. Kind of like these forums here.

    Ehh. When you have a government-sponsored monopoly it's on par with municipal electricity, water, natural gas, etc. services in my mind. When you have no opportunity to defend yourself from accusations of breaking the rules, it's not really a fair system.

    I'd compare it to phone service before I compared it to actual utilities you need to survive. I agree there should be some way to defend yourself against accusations, so I'll amend my statement to say, "I have no problem with banning someone for privacy as long as person has a chance to appeal the decision."

    nosnibor on
    When you're a spy, it's a good idea to give away your trade secrets in a voiceover on a TV show.
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