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UK ISPs To Hand Over Thousands of File Sharers' Data

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-ordered dept.

Privacy 180

Death Metal Maniac sends along a link from TorrentFreak on the latest development in game developer Topwear's battle against file sharers in the UK. "US game developer Topware Interactive, the people behind the now infamous Dream Pinball affair, are about to turn up the heat. Operating through London lawyers Davenport Lyons, they have managed to convince the High Court to send out an order demanding that ISPs in the UK start to hand over the details of several thousand alleged pirates ... BT, one of the UK's largest ISPs ..., confirmed it had been ordered to hand over details of alleged copyright infringing file-sharers ... Virgin Media was a little more slippery in its response but reading between the lines it seems obvious they are involved too."

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180 comments

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887631)

ok, i'll post first. whatever.

Hard to pin down (5, Insightful)

gotw (239699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887687)

IANAL, but consider that the majority of BTs home DSL equipment ships with WEP, often 40 bit WEP, enabled by default. Would this in itself be grounds enough to plausibly deny that the traffic came from the person paying for the box? Not to mention she sheer, massive, embarrassing level of negligence on the part of BT.

Re:Hard to pin down (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888041)

if you're going to accuse or charge BT of negligence because they didn't catch these "pirates" then you might as well demand that ISPs start monitoring all traffic and forbid the use of encrypted connections. there's no way to accuse an ISP of negligence unless they're actually expected to encroach on the privacy of their subscribers. that's just not part of their job.

it's like accusing telephone companies of negligence because they don't monitor everyone's calls and make sure we're not discussing illegal activities over the phone.

Re:Hard to pin down (4, Insightful)

gotw (239699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888667)

I'm not accusing BT of negligence for not catching the pirates. I'm accusing BT of negligence because they are supplying their users with broken, easily compromised security when much better alternatives are available using the exact same hardware.

Re:Hard to pin down (0, Offtopic)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888075)

According to them that's no excuse. You're responsible for your own equipment.

Re:Hard to pin down (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888605)

According to them that's no excuse. You're responsible for your own equipment.

How can you f***ing be responsible for something you don't even know how it works? We do know, but what do the poor joe-users know? And why do manufacturers don't use a much stronger encryption so that only the users' machines will be able to access the network?

What we're dealing with is corporate negligence, and as usual, they blame the end user.

Re:Hard to pin down (2, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888357)

First of all, plausible deniability is not really a legal concept.

But secondly, the concept which you seem to be attempting to get across (i.e., introducing sufficient doubt so as to not meet the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt) is not really relevant here. This appears to be a civil matter, in which case, it is on the balance of probability.

Moreover, you're basically saying that the majority of BT's customers were negligent and should be held liable for their negligence? I'm not sure they'd be happy about that. It's not like it's BT's fault.

Re:Hard to pin down (3, Insightful)

gotw (239699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888591)

Lots and lots of these boxes are in use, secured only by 40 bit WEP. I'm saying that considering that WEP can be cracked with great ease, how easy would it be to deny that the traffic came from you. Could someone up in court simply say "I didn't do it, I guess someone must be abusing my computer/access point".

If BT thought such security was up to the user, why are they not supplying the boxes with an enabled, open wireless connection? They provide step by step instructions for its use and installation of WEP in an era when it is known to be deeply flawed. To what extent users should be expected to be educated about the security of their computer systems is an interesting point to debate. It would, however, be very easy for BT to use WPA-TKIP by default. The only reason I can fathom for not doing this would be the expense (and potential for bad feeling) involved in supporting users with old, WEP only drivers.

What are the odds of a WEP network in a suburban area being cracked into over, say, a year? I suppose it all hinges on that.

Re:Hard to pin down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24889091)

Could someone up in court simply say "I didn't do it, I guess someone must be abusing my computer/access point".

Then they demand access to your computer to check. If you wiped it, that can be used as evidence as well. Your trick isn't going to work.

Re:Hard to pin down (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888677)

ok a few things to ponder on.

What DL et. all say and what is tested case law are normally vastly different.

Its not illegal in the uk (just inadvisable) to leave your wireless network completely open. it *is* illegal and a criminal not civil matter to use that connection if not authorized to do so.

As stated its civil matter meaning its a balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt. An expert witness to detail to possibilities of breaking a wep key to the court for instance.

All of the DL wins so far have been no-shows where defendant has not shown up and defended themselves. this lead the judge to find for the plaintiff automatically and no legal president is yet set.

A German court however, has ruled that the wireless defense is acceptable and a precident has been set there collapsing the case.

DavenPort Lyons are playing a game of bullying brinkmanship , they don't actually want to get into a situation where they set adverse precedent by taking on someone that wont pay the protection money and will fight in court , the ISP's concerned could find themselves in very hot water if they have given out customers names for a civil not criminal matter and the data protection act covers that in any future amendment.

More than anything if they put the scares on you and you stop sharing its job done.

Re:Hard to pin down (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889103)

Well WEP is probably used by default because some personal electronics (Nintendo DS) can only interact with WEP encrypted messages. WEP will dissuade casual wardrivers and the like but not those with technological know how to break it.

Land of the free (5, Funny)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887691)

I'm glad I live in the US. Even though some ISPs cower in fear, most of them give us enough freedom to do what we want. We truly live in the land of the free!

Re:Land of the free (1, Redundant)

Blice (1208832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887749)

Wake up.

This hasn't been the "land of the free" for a long time.

Re:Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888017)

-1 Cheap Cynisism?

Re:Land of the free (4, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887789)

Is that some sarcasm; it's impossible to tell?

Perhaps in the UK they (we? ex-pat here), haven't had the sue happy lawyers going after every man and his dog yet. But perhaps this is the beginning.

Re:Land of the free (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887937)

You must have left the UK a while ago. The ambulance chasers are alive and well in the UK. Big ads on the TV like we have in the US.

Re:Land of the free (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888139)

You don't see cases like you do in the US where people get fined tens of thousands of dollars. You will probably say "yet" but I just don't thin that sort of thing would fly over here. I think there would be a huge amount of protest, which would make it politically inconvenient.

Re:Land of the free (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889209)

You think people in the US are real happy about the lawsuits here? And don't say there aren't any protesters here - I live in Minneapolis and just made it through the RNC with all the police action and rioters. There are plenty of protesters in the US - they just happen to be protesting much bigger issues presently.

Re:Land of the free (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887823)

Yeah, in the US, the ISPs are free to hand over that data without bothering the court.

And if the FISA debacle has taught us anything, it's that they're more than happy to hand over data without worrying about minor little details like "due process."

Fortunately there's an election coming up, and you can vote for change! Wait, both sides claim they're for change? And both sides support warrantless wiretaps and telecom immunity?

Well, damn. If only there were another option, a third option...

Re:Land of the free (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888013)

Yeah, in the US, the ISPs are free to hand over that data without bothering the court. And if the FISA debacle has taught us anything, it's that they're more than happy to hand over data without worrying about minor little details like "due process."

The Verizon case -- where Verizon refused to hand over the data without a court order -- teaches us the opposite. Or perhaps just that Uncle Sam is a bit more persuasive than **AA.

Re:Land of the free (5, Informative)

tiananmen tank man (979067) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888749)

Interesting but False.

From an USAToday story [1], "Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA, the sources said. According to multiple sources, Qwest declined to participate because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants."

[1] http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm [usatoday.com]

Re:Land of the free (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24889155)

I believe the GP was referring to the RIAA/Verizon [eff.org] case, not FISA.

Re:Land of the free (4, Informative)

tonyray (215820) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888915)

As an ISP in the US, we've been asked many times to hand over information wholesale to the FBI. Such warrants are not inforceable and we always ask them what it is they really want. Then they tell us specifically what they are looking for and we tell them if we have the data. If we do, they issue another warrant, signed by a judge, and they get the data. We narrow the FBI request down to the point that it identifies a single account. If it can't be narrowed to a singe account, the data would be worthless to them in court and they don't ask further.

Re:Land of the free (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888127)

i know you're being sarcastic, but whatever third options we have today are quickly evaporating. with the rise of globalization the political/corporate culture of the U.S. is gradually being exported to all parts of the world.

the hegemonic influence of corporate America has never been greater. even Canada and Sweden and quickly falling in line with the RIAA/MPAA's demands. it's frightening how fast this de-democratization is happening even against these subject countries' own national interests.

Re:Land of the free (3, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888153)

If only there were another option, a third option...

Go ahead, throw your vote away!

Re:Land of the free (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888343)

I wish 60% of the US population would "throw their vote away."

Re:Land of the free (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888707)

uh, didn't you only have a 30% turnout at the last election?

Something pretty darned low anyway, so a lot of people already are.

Same things happening in the UK though, the elected leaders are voted in by an ever decreasing number of actual voters.

Re:Land of the free (2, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888487)

Well, damn. If only there were another option, a third option...

There are three pseudo-viable third options; parties that are on the ballot in enough states that should they win them all, they win the election.

Bob Barr [lp.org]

Cynthis McKinney [gp.org]

Chuck Baldwin [constitutionparty.com]

I plan on voting for Barr. Sure, he'll lose, but so will one of the two major party candidates. Why do the media insist that voting for a loser is a wasted vote? Could it be that they are owned by corporations, who bribe both candidates to get legislation (like the Bono Act and the PATRIOT act) passed with 100% or nearly so of the vote?

Re:Land of the free (2, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888755)

I think Penn Jillette said it very well [hutnick.com], through the character of a sock monkey.

You can waste your vote only by voting for someone you don't want. You don't want the winner. Don't waste your vote on someone who's going to win. He doesn't need your vote; he's going to win. Keep voting for the lesser of two evils and things will just keep getting more evil.

-Peter

Re:Land of the free (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888853)

I also plan on voting for Barr, I know he won't win, but I'd like to see another party start getting federally matched funds like the Republicrats. Voting for them is step one in accomplishing that.

no (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888783)

democrats are not supporting it. but obama and his group had to vote for the bill, because if they resisted it, they wouldnt be enough with democrat numbers in senate to bring a bill that would trash telecoms, and nothing would change. in previous situation, warrantless wiretapping was totally without oversight. in the new situation, at least high courts are involved.

Mouseland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888995)

I read this on a slashdot post that I am too lazy to find. Here is the gist:

The mice in mousland are very patriotic and they always vote. Usually they have two options: the red cat, and the blue cat. Once in a while they get the rogue spotted cat as a third option.

The cats pass laws that are very good....for cats. Unfortunately, they are very hard on the mice. The mice usually respond by voting one cat out of office, only to replace him with another cat. Then they are surprised to find things aren't getting any better.

Re:Land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887829)

-cough- slashdot article [slashdot.org] -cough- ...i assume you've been living under a rock lately.

Re:Land of the free (1)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887849)

This being Slashot, I'm just hoping that you forgot to put a at the end of that... The ISPs in the US don't exactly have that clean of a record, with the whole patriot act, so on so forth... USA ISPs have been disclosing information for longer then the UK ISPs. I know that someone is going to say "This just means that we need to start encrypting all of our traffic" I don't think that we should NEED to encrypt our traffic so that the ISPs can't read it. (I'm all for encrypting so that the black hats can't read it, but then again, we don't pay the black hats for a service)

Re:Land of the free (2, Insightful)

TheMidnight (1055796) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887903)

Ha! That's a good one. Almost every ISP in the United States has given user IP address and account information away to any subpoena by the RIAA and its lawyers. This of course is civil and not criminal, but the ISP response is exactly the same. I've only heard of ISPs giving up user data for criminal investigations in child porn or murder cases (i.e. search results for "kill wife" or whatever nonsense the bungling murderer tried to look up) but that doesn't mean it won't spread.

Furthermore, even if the ISPs don't give up the information as easily here, they do track it, and if they're not using it for generalized network throttling, infrastructure improvement or aggregate trends, they'll sell every bit of data internally or to advertisers when they smell money. Privacy on the Internet via your ISP is an illusion in the States, at least for as long as the ISP can afford to keep the logs.

Re:Land of the free (1)

spasmhead (1301953) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888159)

Don't get too smart about it, whats happening in the UK now is setting a precedent. There will be hoards of media company lawyers in the US eagerly awaiting the results of this so they get an idea just what they will be able to get away with when they plan their next move over on your side on the pond. And we all know US lawyers try and get away with anything they can: "Someone at this orphanage for homeless retarded leper children with rickets download some crappy pinball game that no one was going to buy anyway.... SUE THEM ALL! MORE MONEY! MORE MONEY"

Re:Land of the free (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888279)

I know you're joking, but my friend Linda spent four months in Dwight Correctional Center for posession of a controlled substance. Shes on parole right now, not only a victimless criminal, but a victimless felon. Second amendment? She has no second amendment rights; she is banned from owning firearms for life, even though her crime was nonviolent and had no victims.

Police State: In USSA, cops hassle YOU [slashdot.org] (NSFW?)

Liberty? What liberty? [kuro5hin.org]

Peek a Boo. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887697)

What?! I thought P2P allowed me to hide.

The really scary part is... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887753)

...from the looks of it, it seems that the outfit is just as rapacious and extortionist as their US counterparts, but aren't anywhere near as stupid (e.g. I suspect that they don't hire inept unlicensed private investigators, spread easily disproven propaganda, etc). It's almost as if they've learned from their counterparts over here.

OTOH, they likely still rely on stupid 'evidence' such as IP addys, so (and I'm saying this completely ignorant of how UK civil torts work) there may be a chance of defending oneself there if one is truly innocent.

'course, it'll still be pricey as hell, etc.

/P

Re:The really scary part is... (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888423)

The one that really gets me is when they claim a MAC address is proof, since on windows it can't be changed (to my knowledge, I'm sure ther'es a hack) due to DRM.

At least an IP is related at all to the downloader, even if it's through a router or WAP, etc.

Re:The really scary part is... (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888589)

They've won a few cases.

Well, let me put that a little more realistically. The defendant didn't even bother to turn up so they got a default judgement in a few cases.
And they crowed about a record £16000 award for their dumb pinball game a little while ago. Thing is, the lady they won that judgement against had not only not showed up in court, and not replied to any of their letters, but had actually moved house between the alleged infringement and the date the letters were sent. She was never even informed there was action against her. So the ruling isn't worth the paper it's written on.

Their damage calculations are laughable too. We don't really have punitive damaged in the UK. You might be able to get them laughed out of court by saying "yes, I downloaded over a torrent network. They sell for £5, I downloaded one copy and (as a good torrent citizen) uploaded 110%, meaning their damages are exactly £10.50."

I don't know exactly what would happen then, but usually that sort of thing should be in the small claims court, not the grown-up court, and legal expenses wouldn't be covered in the judgement there.

At that amount it's a waste of the court's time.

Re:The really scary part is... (2, Informative)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888649)

'course, it'll still be pricey as hell, etc.

Not if you win; in the UK the loser pays.

No need to worry (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887755)

They don't want to sue you or arrest you for file sharing. They're throwing you a party with cake and just want to know how to reach you to let you know about your party. Just stay where you are. A party associate will arrive shortly to collect you for the party.

Re:No need to worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887827)

The party van is coming!

Re:No need to worry (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888059)

Nah, I think the cake is a lie.

(a game company going after folks? is the recording industry idling?)

Sell Sell Sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887775)

If I was the share owner of said US game developer, I would in no uncertain terms Sell Sell Sell. It always amuses me when a company goes off a tries to adjust their core business model. It normally always fails and it appers they are looking for another revenue stream as their's should I speculate is running dry. If I was running a games developer, I would be spending my money on games development not running down to the local casino and betting on black, ahh the wonders of stupidity.

Retroactively? (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 5 years ago | (#24887777)

I'm curious if this covers current targets and/or current sharers/infringers or if this is broader in the sense of going after people will Oink.me accounts... ?

Dear media companies (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887855)

Stop trying to sell single TV episodes for $2. If the price was $0.25 or $0.50 to rent it (i.e. view it once or twice, delete 48 hours after first viewing), I'd be a huge customer.

Stop trying to sell downloadable versions of movies for the same price as a DVD. If I purchase and download a movie, it's already costing me my limited monthly bandwidth and hard drive space that I paid for. If the movie sells for $20 on DVD, sell the downloadable version for $10. After all, I'm missing the extras, too.

Stop limiting sales to a single country, the internet is world-wide. I don't care who owns what and who's under exclusive contrats with which stations. It's your mess, figure it out.

Stop trying to put DRM which limit the usefulness of the media we want to buy. I don't want to watch movies and TV shows on my computer and I don't want to be tied to Microsoft-only hardware/software.

Do people want your content? Yes, otherwise they wouldn't pirate it. Do people want to pay for your content? Yes, if the price, format and limits are reasonable. Find the balance and it'll work itself out.

I, for one, won't bother with P2P and torrents if it only cost $0.99 for a tune I want. It's easier and faster to buy it from the iTunes Music Store. Their TV shows and movies, however, are too expensive.

Re:Dear media companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887977)

You forgot e-books, like for Amazon's kindle, that cost the same as the tree versions.

If you don't have $2, no one cares about you (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888121)

If you don't have $2, no one cares about you in the first place. You are like one bum on skid row: only a problem for the street sweepers. Heard of Tivo? No, I don't think you have. VCR? TV Guide + alarm clock?

Re:Dear media companies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24887983)

I, for one, won't bother with P2P and torrents if it only cost $0.99 for a tune I want. It's easier and faster to buy it from the iTunes Music Store. Their TV shows and movies, however, are too expensive.

You don't think that a TV episode (22 to 44 minutes) is at least twice as expensive to produce as a song (about four minutes)?

Re:Dear media companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888229)

its hard to decide what has more "value" but heres a tip:
you can listen to the same mp3 over and over because you like it.
will you watch the same tv episode over and over? chances are you watch it you trash it and thats it.

Re:Dear media companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888271)

I don't care about cost, I only care about the value I get out of it. I'll watch that TV episode only once, but I may be listening to that song dozens if not hundreds of times in my lifetime.

By your logic, a movie should cost about 2000$ since it cost about a hundred times more to produce than a single TV show episode.

Re:Dear media companies (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888065)

I agree. I don't bother with torrents- I just rent with blockbuster online. But they aren't making too much money off me- I'm definitely not buying anything.

Oh, and what's this nonsense with waiting an arbitrary amount of time before releasing to DVD? I want the latest season of House, but it takes a year after it's aired? That is the number one thing driving me to piracy lately.

Re:Dear media companies (3, Interesting)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888225)

There are all sorts of restrictions that the industry puts on electronic media distribution, 99% of it is motivated by their desire to protect their existing business model. If the business model changes too much, the web of companies making profit will fall apart. They're ideologically unable to accept the truth; that is, advances in IT mean that eventually artists will sell directly to consumers. The only thing that will remain in between is the critics, DJs, journalists, etc who screen the huge amount of stuff for us. Distribution companies, duplication plants, agents, A&R, agents and lawyers will all be out of a business and shareholders will lose money - that's what they're trying to stop. That will probably happen to music first, but will probably generalise to TV and then movies in time. Inertia is caused by the amount of investment to make the stuff.

Re:Dear media companies (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888443)

Do people want to pay for your content? Yes, if the price, format and limits are reasonable.

And those who are unwilling to pay will be unwilling to pay regardless. With a 100% working DRM, you do not gain those customers. Percentage wise you will go from say 10% of people who illegally download to 0%.

Money wise there will be no change. Instead of gaining the people who are unwilling to pay, you loose people who ARE willing to pay.

Re:Dear media companies (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888451)

And with Requiem your iTunes Music Store is usable with other things as well.

Too bad the quality's shitty and they're MP3. 'sides, I don't like to subsidize a broken business model. At least amazon sells them DRM free.

Re:Dear media companies (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888547)

Although I agree with you, trying to get them to do what we both would like to see is like trying to get a crackhead to stop smoking crack. It ain't gonna happen.

What affair? (3, Informative)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888003)

the people behind the now infamous Dream Pinball affair,

OK, I'll bite, what "now infamous Dream Pinball affair"? Gee Slashdot, this is the web and a post in HTML. Would it have been so much to ask that any such statement like this might contain a link to some past discussion about this now infamous thing that we are all supposedly in the know about? Is it too much to ask that an editor who accepts such a story either requires such strong statements to be supported or (if he's willing to do more than just accept a submission verbatim (you know what I mean, edit) put the link in?

Re:What affair? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888753)

I hadn't heard of it either, so I googled, planning to ridicule you on your lack of research skills.

No ridicule here though, all the links google comes up with assume you already know about it. Wikipedia has no entry at all on "dream pinball". I fail it, too.

Somebody's retarded, and it ain't you.

Re:What affair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888791)

JFGI

Been Going on for a While (3, Informative)

segedunum (883035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888033)

They're using Norwich Pharmcal court orders, which basically obligate someone mixed up in wrongdoing (i.e. ISPs) to hand over information related to that wrongdoing. However, in many cases the ISPs seem to be handing over information without a court order, or signing off a confirmation with the letter they get from Davenport Lyons so they don't have to turn up to the court order hearing. The court order is merely in case ISPs are worried about little things like the Data Protection Act. They can then invoice Davenport Lyons, and in one case Telewest invoiced for over £18,000.

However, it seems that Davenport Lyons says that you can pay £300 and make all this legal stuff just 'go away'. I was under the impression that Norwich Pharmcal order were given out on a reasonable basis, simply because they can obviously be abused. I'm pretty sure that extortion, which is what this is pretty much, is against the terms of the order. You can't just use the order and the information you get from it to extract money from people.

Re:Been Going on for a While (3, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888413)

in case ISPs are worried about little things like the Data Protection Act.

Ah yes, the Data Protection Act.

That would be the law which is misinterpreted to mean that a mother can't complain about a present purchased for her 7 year old until said 7 year old has agreed that she can discuss it [telegraph.co.uk]?

(Incidentally, the law is perfectly clear and was obviously not relevant in this situation - it's just been used as an excuse to be stupid by countless organisations)

And this would also be the law which despite numerous high-profile data loss cases has resulted in only one reasonably high-profile fine (which the organisation concerned publicly announced would come out of customer's pockets because they "didn't think it fair" to take it from the Chairman's bonus).

This is fucking ridiculous (3, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888051)

I swear this contravenes the Data Protection Act.

And how come they are allowed to do such a thing?! One rule for them, another for us. Here's an example: The other day my brother calls me up to tell me he's lost his glasses. He's trekking in a jungle somewhere in Malaysia and now cannot see very well.

However, he asks me to get his prescription details so he can get a pair made up there. I then call the optician and explain the predicament. But, to my dismay, they refuse to hand over the details because it is a breach of the Data Protection Act. Erm... WHAT?!!

These ISPs should not be handing over any ones' details, at all. It's not like the users are planning to blow up Canary Wharf...

Re:This is fucking ridiculous (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888239)

These ISPs should not be handing over any ones' details, at all. It's not like the users are planning to blow up Canary Wharf...

Speak for your self. fortunately ill be switching from virgin to Be this weekend, hopefully they wont be so public with my details and hell even if they are then at least they wont be traffic shaping me while they do it

Re:This is fucking ridiculous (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889349)

Virgin Media are fucking shit. I moved from them myself. Their service becomes unusual between 4pm and midnight. At one stage I couldn't even get onto Google without the connection timing out.

Ruin them!!!! (1, Troll)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888113)

Well it's difficult to fight back but there is a way.

EVERYONE STOP buying the games from this company. PIRATE ALL of their games.

They want to play hard lets play harder, lets stop their revenue completely and force them to file a chapter 11.

Maybe the botnets could do some good, they could host & advertise the pirate copies

NO SURRENDER!

Re:Ruin them!!!! (2, Funny)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888133)

I should probably add teh following disclaimer:

I do not support or codone piracy in any way shape or form. The views expressed above are not my own.

Re:Ruin them!!!! (0, Offtopic)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888523)

Yes, that worked well at Nuremberg.

"I do not support or condone the extermination of Jews in any way, shape, or form. The views expressed are not my own. HEIL HITLER!"

Godwin, and Quirk's. Carry on.

I love the privacy double-standards around here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888117)

Always up in arms when their file sharing is exposed, but leading the torches-and-pitchforks crowd to a lynching if spammers or tax avoiders are involved.

You rubes don't seem to realize your views on privacy are leading to an internet where NOTHING is private. Everyone supports privacy when people are doing things you like, but we need a panopticon for people doing bad things. Just like the First Amendment only protects popular speech.

Either you support true privacy or you don't. Even when "bad" people might do so-called "bad" things you don't like with their economic or political privacy. If you think only p2p transfers will be private, but spammers and drug dealers and tax avoiders will be exposed to every govt regulator/tax collector on the planet, you are fooling yourselves and inviting in big brother.

Re:I love the privacy double-standards around here (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888493)

"Either you support true privacy or you don't."

False dichotomy, thanks for playing, see you next week folks!

I support copyright reforms. I support harsher laws against spamming. I also support firm evidence being used to obtain a court order, and these pigfuckers don't have any.

No (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24888273)

The correct response to such a request is a unanimous "no" from all large ISPs, and to await the fine.

Then to put up subscription prices accordingly to reflect the amount of the fine.

Then all users of those ISPs know what the "rights holders" are doing.

Then it gets press coverage.

Then everyone knows.

Then people start to whine.

Then politicians see a bandwagon to ride.

Then the law gets changed.

But it has to start with atlas shrugging.

And I hate myself for making the Ayn Rand reference, sorry, but a group of powerful businesses needs to say "no, we want to trade freely and treat our customers with respect, fuck off government" rather than being in cahoots with them.

Re:No (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889189)

That'll work - unless at least one ISP rolls over, avoiding the fine and thus the need to increase subscription costs. Consumers, uninterested in why all the service providers except X have raised prices, say "Fuck that, I'm switching to X - it's cheaper".

Don't buy their crap - or download it! (1)

shomon2 (71232) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888331)

I don't know about the pinball thingy, but generally, in the UK, you can see all the TV you want on iPlayer or any of the major and minor channels' own players - or just download Miro and thereby take part in legal, CC licensed or public domain video torrenting so as to watch whatever you want that's not spoonfed by media companies.

Same goes for online music - you can listen for ages on jamendo, last.fm or magnatunes, and an ever increasing number of net labels on archive.org etc, without ever so much as a sub-subpoena. Creative Commons music is now so varied and widespread that I don't see a reason to have to steal.

But for games? I guess games are still an area where there will be piracy... Open source and CC just aren't there yet (with big 3d flashy games, not the huge amount of simpler open source games around), although the guys at Blender are taking some first steps: http://www.yofrankie.org/ [yofrankie.org]

Ale

Re:Don't buy their crap - or download it! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889151)

The iplayer is the only useful one. The others use Kontiki practically malware.. it's Windows only, can't be easily uninstalled (add/remove programs does *not* uninstall it) and sucks your bandwidth whether you're using it or not. For the majority of poeple with bandwidth limits it's just not an option.

Not *quite* as bad as it sounds (2, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888483)

Recently there was lot of UK press about someone being made to cough up £16K for sharing MP3s. What the press omitted to say was that Davenport Lyons wrote to thousands of people saying 'You owe us £6K for piracy!'. Almost everyone wrote back and said 'No we don't, prove it'. DL did no more. The rest of the recipients ignored the letter and in the case in question, the person didn't even bother to turn up at court so got the full amount of £6K plus £10K costs against them.
I suspect they know damn well all they have is some basic data and not enough for any sort of solid case. Did they have entire files? Did the file signatures match known cheksums of copyright files? Were the connections wireless and unencrypted? Are there multiple users on a single PC etc. etc.

Re:Not *quite* as bad as it sounds (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889183)

The reason they didn't turn up is because they didn't actually know there was a court case against them - they had moved house and the lawyers didn't bother to find out the new address. How the hell they managed to get a judgement when the accused didn't even know they'd been accused of anything I've no idea.

This happened a while back actually (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888637)

If you look at the article over at the register [theregister.co.uk] and the court order they link to [digiprotect.org] you'll see that the information handover took place at the end of June (or July for BT).

There are lots of reports of them getting this stuff totally wrong though. Also the people gathering the data have apparently been pretty much banned in France/Germany, hence trying their luck in the UK.

I don't think this'll last long, but on the other hand it could ruin some lives in the mean time.

Sir Alan Sugar should be arrested at once! (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888697)

Alan Sugar got rich by making a HiFi with twin cassette units. If you didn't have one yourself, you knew somebody who did. Suddenly *everybody* could copy tapes easily (and at double speed!)

Home taping was rampant. I knew people with tens of thousands of tapes in their room.

The record business didn't die then, in fact their boom years came long afterwards.

How come Alan Sugar got a knighthood but these days we're throwing away all due process over the exact same "crime".

Game, set, match... (2, Informative)

harrie_o (1350423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888699)

Look people, its all over. Why persist in trading copyrighted materials using Bit-torrent?

To find anyone who is using bt to get an illegal file is like shooting-fish-in-a-barrel. Its not rocket science. To get a file sharer's name all any corporation has to do is:

1) attempt to download the file (just a tiny bit).

2) snap the list of peers that have 100-percent (cut and paste) and note the time in GMT (UTC).

3) end the download before you got anything

4) using ping -a to lookup the name of the computer at that ip address (gets the ISP, too its just that simple).

5) write letter to ISP demanding its logs of what customer was on that IP address at that time.

The ISP then sends it letter and its game, set, match. Just give it up. Use bt for your own creative content and what (like youtube) could be considered fair use.

Re:Game, set, match... (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889287)

that's been going on in the US for a decade, the p2p use continues to rise, the risk of being sued continues to diminish.

Game, set, match all right. The people win.

ISPs should purge data when no longer needed (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24888801)

For that matter, any company that keeps data on customers should erase it when it no longer needs it, unless data retention is required by law.

If ISPs had a "keep metered-billing customers' data until the bill is paid, and don't keep unmetered customer's data for more than a few days" there wouldn't be much data to subpoena.

Re:ISPs should purge data when no longer needed (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#24889231)

A certain amount of data retention *is* required by law - they're billing you for that data, so they need to keep records of exactly what they're billing you for for (IIRC) 7 years.

Of course any company with a backbone when faced with a request for data will reply 'STFU - come back with a court order'.. I know my ISP would as they've said as much publically. If all ISPs did that it wouldn't be economic to gather all that data.

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