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30,000 UK ISP Users Face Threat Letters For Suspected Illegal File Sharing

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the my-god-it's-full-of-laws dept.

The Courts 218

Mark.JUK writes with this excerpt from ISP Review: "Solicitors at ACS:Law have been granted approval by the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the private personal details of some 30,000 customers suspected of involvement with illegal file sharing from UK broadband ISPs. The customers concerned are 'suspected' of illegally file sharing (P2P) approximately 291 movie titles, they now face threatening demands for money (settlement) or risk the prospect of court action. It's noted that 25,000 of the IP addresses that have been collected belong to BT users."

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Christmas gifts, they start here.shoes,handbag,ect (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244762)

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KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE SPARROW !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244970)

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time !! Don't do it !!

Funny how this applies to so many /. stories !!

Re:Christmas gifts, they start here.shoes,handbag, (0, Offtopic)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245008)

If your goal was best Ingrish, I would have bought a pair of Nike shox and a handbag.

Re:Christmas gifts, they start here.shoes,handbag, (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245324)

His goal is to piggyback on search indexing.

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244764)

Under Sharia Law these infidel thieves would have their hands cut off; much harder to steal if you don't have any hands. Muslims are violent subhumans.

I concur! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244770)

Muslims are inhuman sacks of dog shit.

FUCK ALLAH! FUCK MOHAMMAD! FUCK ISLAM!!!

Free Iran!

Flamebait (-1, Troll)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244782)

Is it 1984 on that motherfucking island of yours yet?

Re:Flamebait (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244806)

Is it 1984 on that motherfucking island of yours yet?

It's worse than 1984! It's 2009!!! (It would have been Orwell's sequel)

Re:Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244826)

They could hide from the telescreens and meet in the countryside for illicit encounters in the book, you'd never get away with that in 2009.

Re:Flamebait (-1, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244862)

Well, you can improve though. AnoNET [brinkster.net] looks interesting and works too. And it's actually a quite nice community.

Activities

Please note that any resource listed in this section can only be reached when your connection to the VPN is active. If it is not, you will get unexpected results.

Once you have connected to the VPN itself, you may do any number of things:
To get the full anoNet experience, use one of our cache DNS servers (1.0.9.53 or 1.10.11.1) so that you can resolve anoNet domains! Getting your own domain such as example.ano is no problem, just ask!
- Visit our Wiki, wiki.ano (http://1.0.9.3).
- Visit our IRC network using 1.0.9.1 or 1.0.1.1 port 6667 (6697 for SSL) with your favourite IRC client. Join #anonet and we can help you get started with anoNet.
- If you would like a more secure form of communication, you can use our SILC server at silc.ano:706
- Visit our message forum talk.ano (http://1.0.9.4), where you can discuss anything under the sun! Literally. That is what this network is about -- free speech.
- Use the anoNet jabber network (jabber.ano port 5222 or 5223 ssl for v1 clients), where you can chat with others using your favourite Jabber client! Jabber directory at users.jabber.ano
- Grab yourself a webmail account mail.ano (http://1.0.9.6) if you don't want to run your own mail server. anoNet has no spam.
- Search anoNet using our spidering search engine search.ano (http://1.0.9.8).
- Use our Bittorrent tracker anotorrent.ano (http://1.0.9.200)
- There is an open Icecast streaming server at stream.icecast.ano (1.0.9.16) port 8000, password anonet. It supports 20 streams and 200 listeners. The directory server is at icecast.ano (http://1.0.9.16)
- Once again to promote free speech we have a multi-user blog at anojournal.ano (http://1.0.9.13)
- If file sharing is your thing we have ed2k and dc++ servers.
- If gaming is for you, there is a bnetd server. (Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood Wars, Warcraft II, Warcraft III, Diablo, Diablo II)
- We also have World of Warcraft server setup (Running MaNGOS and a combination of SDB and Modb)
Remember, you can be a server too! Do you want to play a multi-player game? Go ahead! Install a game server, advertise it around (if you like), and get people to play with you!
Not only can you be a game server, but you can offer files, stream media, host your own web page, or anything else you want!
There is far too much to the network to list here, if it sounds like something you would be interested in, then connect up.

Re:Flamebait (1, Troll)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244892)

Check back in 3 years and 1 month. :)

Re:Flamebait (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245350)

  1. Cam whoring
  2. Arranging to go dogging on craigslist

It's like Orwell's vision, except people do it voluntarily.

Re:Flamebait (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244850)

Did you bother reading the FA? Of course not, this is /.. If you had, you would see that this is legal sabre rattling. Certainly no worse than the RIAA taking children to court in the US.

Re:Flamebait (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245224)

Indeed - it's a bit annoying that any posts about the UK have to turn into a US vs UK match, as if it was some kind of competition (if it's a competition, it's one where citizens in both countries lose!)

All we need is someone to pipe up and say that if only we had guns in the UK, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.

It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244890)

No, it's the real 1980s' vision of the future, only instead of OCP, it's the media industry that's gone on a power-mad rampage.

Re:It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (1)

malus314 (1484329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245042)

Can anyone explain to me why so many of the above posts are modded "Troll"? I must be misunderstanding what the term means because I see very little trollish activity here (maybe I'm getting it confused with flamebait?)

Re:It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (0, Offtopic)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245354)

Some mod got pissed about seeing the same thing over and over and decided to try and retaliate.

Re:It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (1)

malus314 (1484329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245372)

I see. Thank you for clearing that up for me!

Re:It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245146)

Yeah, because if I beat back a thief in my house I'm on a power-mad rampage.

Re:It's not Nineteen Eighty-Four (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245434)

Those bastards! They copied my flat-screen TV!

Re:Flamebait (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245034)

Is it 1984 on that motherfucking island of yours yet?

Actually I think that in almost every country, some company is harvesting IP addresses on the P2P networks. Just in case this stuff gets valuable.

Re:Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245336)

That's why this is not about companies looking for IPs in P2P networks.

It's about a court actually granting discovery on 30.000 IP addresses, a political elite valuing perceived security over freedom and a populace that doesn't appear to care whatsoever, welcoming it even.

It's certainly not 1984, but equally abominable nonetheless.

Re:Flamebait (1)

Vahokif (1292866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245258)

Have you actually read the book?

Re:Flamebait (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245296)

Yes. That's why I labeled it "flamebait". Der.

It will never end (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244786)

We'll build a decentralized network before we allow you to dictate which information we may copy. We have the technology, we have the know how and you're giving us the motivation.

Re:It will never end (0, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244816)

But will you actually do anything about it? It's easy to just shout loud works and then go back to watch the latest blockbuster movie you've just pirated because it's "free speech".

btw, internet itself is a decentralized network, so what would building an another one help?

Something-Something Wants to be Free (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244844)

We'll build a decentralized network before we allow you to dictate which information we may copy.

Information? I thought it was Hollywood movies that were being copied and distributed...?

No, you won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244964)

What will you personally - aside from posting on Slashdot and internet forums - do about it?

Yeah... Thought so.

Re:No, you won't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245040)

Let me put it this way: I have personally pulled fiber between buildings (and it isn't my job).

Re:No, you won't (2, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245082)

As a kid we also pulled lan cables with my brother from my room to his room. Every day, because it didn't fit under the doors and wasn't built-in to the house. Then we played Counter-Strike beta 6 and GTA 2.

And no government in our darknet!

Re:No, you won't (3, Insightful)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245268)

Just so you know, a linebreak does not constitute an adequate chance to respond to your first question. Do you understand?

I'll take that as a yes.

Re:It will never end (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245118)

We'll build a decentralized network before we allow you to dictate which information we may copy. We have the technology, we have the know how and you're giving us the motivation.

Actually it will end. When films become unprofitable to make then there won't be anything to pirate. Can't happen? Who makes films and who funds them. As everyone has noticed the businessmen have taken over so artists aren't doing it out of love. Also what are the big films everyone wants to see? 2012 and Avatar? They cost 250 to 350 million to make. Even the Twilight films cost a lot. Yes there will always be movies but one day the only Star Trek feature being made may be by a fan in his garage. I've heard people boast that fan films are superior but virtually all of them are knock offs of studio films or TV shows and few approach professional quality and the acting is uniformly bad. Theaters are struggling, that's why popcorn is $5+. Network TV is dying fast. Cable is mostly jam packed with commercials just trying to stay above water. Hey advertising will bring on a golden age where everything is free. Well back in the day we called that TV and it's dying. So far the ad based web content has faired poorly at being profitable and doesn't come close to covering the cost of even cheap productions. "But they'll find a way or they'll do it for free". So far no one has come up with an alternate way to fund movies, theatrical and DVD still cover all production costs and people like to eat so working for free isn't an option. Older viewers still mostly pay but Gen X'ers don't like to pay and Tweens feel they shouldn't have to pay. Gradually the older crowd dies off and what you are left with are a bunch of people demanding content but refuse to pay. Already average studio film budgets are 20X what they were 30 years ago and it keeps getting worse. I've been on the ground with it and theatrical releases of any size cost 15 to 25 million, hard numbers not creative accounting. That's prints and advertising. Even electronic distribution cost money. Hey just web release films? How do you return even the investment on a 250 million dollar film through web streaming? And I know everyone says "to hell with them for expecting profits" but who is going to put up 100 to 250 million without any profit? It's easy to say if we stick together we can win this one but what do you win if you kill off the very thing you are fighting over? I used to see 1 to 3 films every week in a theater. Now I've seen less than a dozen all year, probably far less. The drop in quality is partly caused by the drop in profitability of films. They are less likely to take a risk so now you get remakes of remakes and few original films. Most of the quasi original films are effects epics with little story. And television, name three good TV shows? I can't. I like one US TV show and watch a handful out of morbid curiousity but they just aren't getting any better. Piracy will end when there just isn't anything worth pirating. Who wins then?

Re:It will never end (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245328)

When films become unprofitable to make then there won't be anything to pirate. Can't happen?

Can't happen. What you're effectively saying is that people will stop expressing themselves. Sure, 250 million dollar movies may be a fluke, an aberration never to return, but people will keep making movies, and they will be interesting, funny, engaging, soothing, provoking and everything you can imagine, because that's human nature. There's an abundance of information out there. You couldn't possibly consume a percent of all music, not even a percent of all music you like. Even watching movies 24/7 would leave you with a quickly growing stack of movies that you haven't seen. You haven't heard all the good jokes in the world and you never will. There are pictures that are world famous that you'll never know exist, many created by people who didn't have copyright protection, much less the obscene appropriation of public domain that passes as copyright today. To postulate that piracy will end content production is ridiculous. "Home taping kills music." Yeah, it sure did, didn't it?

Better in Italy (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244788)

Strange to say, but in Italy we protect more our privacy than in UK: our Data Privacy Authority decided that it's against the law to provide a correspondence between IP Address and real person name if the suspected violation is only for copyright issues.

Re:Better in Italy (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244856)

Sadly the left-wing gov we have considers us all subjects and we should all do as we are told, never question the status-quo and never question Father Brown leader of the glorious party of truth and light!

However those of us who do not sit dribbling in front of our TV's watching shite like Big Brother, Come Dancing or X-Factor do have IQs at least in double digits, do argue against this pathetic excuse for a government! A government where most of the MPs are on the boards of media companies and simply do as the shareholders of said companies tell them to.

Re:Better in Italy (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244972)

Left wing government? No wonder you were modded flamebait. The government in the UK is right-wing, despite the Labour name. And protecting the profits of big business whilst suppressing the civil liberties of ordinary people is a clearly right-wing policy.

Re:Better in Italy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245064)

I do not agree with that. The typical left-wing thinking is the collective trumps the individual in all situations. That is really what they have been pushing. Business just happens to have the money and smarts to turn this to their own advantage.

Re:Better in Italy (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245152)

Damburger (GP) is of the opinion that "right-wing is always bad" and that "left-wing is normally good". This is common groupthink, in fact it is an almost universal belief in Britain.

Damburger realises that New Labour are a nasty bunch of crooks, but isn't able to make the connection between that crookedness and the Left-wing ideology that creates it, so in his mind, New Labour become right-wing. He would benefit by reading Nick Cohen or Jonah Goldberg, since their books clearly illustrate that the "nasty Left" didn't disappear with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Re:Better in Italy (3, Interesting)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245250)

No, you've got it wrong. Right wing likes the growth of power in business (fascism) and left wing likes the growth of power in government (socialism, communism). Both inherently flawed, but in this case, it's the growth of business, so it's right wing policy.

Re:Better in Italy (0)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245378)

I have yet to see a valid connection between economic policy and civil freedoms.

Re:Better in Italy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245400)

I take it you don't subscribe to the theory that fascism and Nazism are left-wing movements, then? [wikipedia.org] As in, a merger of corporate and government power that leaves the government in charge?

The leftist reason to oppose filesharing is the same as the leftist reason for opposing unauthorised typewriters and printing presses: if you control how people communicate, then you can control what people think. It just so happens that, once again, the needs of big business line up with the needs of Peter Mandelson. A better example of a left-wing fascist could never be found.

Re:Better in Italy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245202)

ORLY? Strange that all actual right-wing people completely disagree with you about that. As you would see from any right-wing blog or any right-wing newspaper.

I think New Labour are right-wing in the same sense that Hitler was "far right", i.e. NOT right-wing in any objective sense, just not your sort of leftie.

Re:Better in Italy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245208)

Left wing government? No wonder you were modded flamebait. The government in the UK is right-wing, despite the Labour name. And protecting the profits of big business whilst suppressing the civil liberties of ordinary people is a clearly right-wing policy.

it shouldn't be modded flamebait, it should be modded doublethink....

Re:Better in Italy (5, Interesting)

Smegly (1607157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245240)

Sadly the left-wing gov we have ...

Check your political compass... [politicalcompass.org] you can't talk about left/right with without also including the Authoritarian/Libertarian axis. Yeah, it requires slightly more effort than linear left/right thought... probably why you never hear it mentioned when the general population talk politics.

Thank gawd I use FTP (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244808)

Seriously, I've downloaded movies and TV shows using plain old (and I mean old) FTP. When am I going to get my letter?
I hate this protocol-specific gnashing of teeth...if you're downloading illegally, it doesn't matter what protocol you're using.

Re:Thank gawd I use FTP (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244828)

that's downloading, not sharing. Unless you also run an FTP server. It's not the same thing

Re:Thank gawd I use FTP (3, Interesting)

Chatterton (228704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244832)

Yes. Unfortunatly it is more easy to track P2P users than FTP users. Now what I don't understand is that they don't seed the tracked with some false IPs like the one of the Queen and some institutions for letting them receive these letters too.

That's the Ticket!! Implicate the Royal Family! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244894)

The pirates won't just get nasty threatening letters, they'll be arrested, drawn, quartered, and their ancestral lands salted with the dust of their ground-up bones. Good thinking!

For one, it's easy to get around (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245376)

Now what I don't understand is that they don't seed the tracked with some false IPs

Under the assumption that the party sending out the letters is doing the due diligence thing, they'd connect to the IP claiming to seed and ask it for a chunk of the torrented bit sequence. If the client doesn't get one, there's no infringement going no.

Now, we can discuss whether the due diligence assumption is realistic, of course, but if I were them and I was genuine about preventing piracy (as opposed to going scaremongering), that's what I'd do. (fwiw...)

Re:Thank gawd I use FTP (2, Informative)

twoshortplanks (124523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244946)

Er...in this case BT refers to the communications company British Telecom, not Bittorrent.

go on, complain, I dare you (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244822)

You knew this would happen, you kidded yourself that no-one would find out if you pirated a few movies.

The ISP can and will turn over the details to the lawyers if they are ordered to, and it's there in plain text in the contract you signed.

Stop whining.

Re:go on, complain, I dare you (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244960)

How is that a troll?

Here's the relevant part of the contract from my broadband provider:

5.3 You shall not use, nor allow any other(s) to use, the service to:

(a) store, send, knowingly receive, upload, download or distribute any material that is unsolicited, defamatory, offensive, abusive, obscene, pornographic or menacing, or in breach of copyright, confidence, privacy or any other rights;
(b) violate or infringe any rights of, or cause unwarranted or needless inconvenience, annoyance or anxiety to, any other person;
(c) breach any laws, legislation, regulations, codes, standards or content requirements of any relevant body or authority;
(d) obtain unauthorised access to any information, network or telecommunications system(s);
(e) compromise the security or integrity of any network or telecommunications system(s), including without limitation any part of our network or telecommunications systems;
(f) place any viruses or other similar computer programs onto the service or the internet;
(g) store, distribute or reproduce commercial software or reproduce a third party's software or material without the permission of that third party and/or the relevant rights holder(s);
(h) for any improper, fraudulent or otherwise unlawful purpose; or
(i) to spam or to send or provide unsolicited advertising or promotional material or knowingly to receive responses to any spam, unsolicited advertising or promotional material sent or provided by any third party. You agree to take all reasonable steps to make sure that this does not happen.

5.5 In all circumstances, you will indemnify us against any claims, actions or legal proceedings (including reasonable related costs and expenses, legal or otherwise) which are brought or threatened against us by a third party because the service has been used or is being used in breach of paragraphs 5.1 to 5.4.

And in the privacy policy, turn over your details for:

(l) legal compliance.

it's a legally binding contract

Re:go on, complain, I dare you (4, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245120)

right there in 5.3(a): ... download ... any material that is ...pornographic.

Boom. no porn. if people followed that, half of the IP space on the net would be freed up immediately. IPV6 adoption could be pushed off for another few decades.

Re:go on, complain, I dare you (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245282)

There's a difference between you explicitly allowing someone to use your connection for those purposes, and someone using the connection for those purposes against your knowledge.

If your connection is used without your knowledge due to open wifi or a compromised PC then they are sharing against your will and you most certainly did not allow that person to do it- they did it without such permission and you are therefore not liable.

As Slashdot requires a car analogy, it's like someone breaking into your car and then joy riding in it and running someone over and killing them. When that happens you are not guilty of manslaughter or in fact guilty of anything at all.

On the contrary, in both cases, you are actually a victim of a crime, whether you choose to report and prosecute is up to you, but you certainly cannot be punished whether you do or not.

What the f*ck? (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245460)

5.3 You shall not use, nor allow any other(s) to use, the service to:

(a) store, send, knowingly receive, upload, download or distribute any material that is unsolicited, defamatory, offensive, abusive, obscene, pornographic or menacing, or in breach of copyright, confidence, privacy or any other rights;

Hmm...

Your post^W^H contract advocates a

( ) technical (X) legislative (X) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting spam. [...]

The way I read the legalese, you're not allowed to download (via POP3) and not delete (that is, store) spam. I'm not sure whether the "knowingly" only applies to the things between the same commas it itself is between or whether it also applies to the "download" part, but if it's the latter, how the f...

Are they deliberately phrasing the contract such that everyone is violating the contract (unless they don't use email)?

(Probably not, it's just my tin foil hat that's malfunctioning again.)

I wonder how they found the 25000 BT users... (3, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244836)

I wonder how they found the 25000 BT users - it seems odd that 25,000 out of 30,000 come from one ISP if they found them by any public means (i.e by joining swarms on public trackers and seeing which IPs are also operating in the swarm).

My guess is that while they were testing Phorm's targeted-advertising-based-on-snooping technology they were also did something very similar to what Virgin are planning (from the earlier story today "CView's deep packet inspection is the same technology that powered Phorm's advertising system" - CView being what Virgin plan to use to inspect P2P traffic).

Re:I wonder how they found the 25000 BT users... (2, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244870)

I hope if BT turns over the personal details of these 25000 customers they all quit their contract the same day along with any sympathizers. That ought to show them customer privacy is in their best interest too.

Re:I wonder how they found the 25000 BT users... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245164)

Quit? if they are caught downloading copyrighted material without a licence then they can just have their service terminated (and still pay the full amount for that contract period). That's called legally binding contract terms

Re:I wonder how they found the 25000 BT users... (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245136)

My suspicion is that these are broadband accounts which have gone through a reseller. BT has something like 400 resellers on its books, so a substantial number of people going through $SOME ISP are actually getting service from BT.

30,000? 25,000? 15,000? (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245186)

The numbers are already messed up, the article above says 30,000, 25,000 of which are BT. The BBC article says only 15,000:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8381097.stm [bbc.co.uk]

So how many people really are covered I wonder?

Time to get a Relakks account (4, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244838)

Guess it's time to get a Relakks [relakks.com] account. Basically you use a VPN account which gives you some random Swedish IP address. This will keep you off the radar of those collecting IP addresses for a while.

Not related to them or anything, I was just a satisfied customer for a few months. I gave it up when I realized I almost never downloaded movies and music anymore.

Re:Time to get a Relakks account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245072)

Guess it's time to get a Relakks [relakks.com] account. Basically you use a VPN account which gives you some random Swedish IP address. This will keep you off the radar of those collecting IP addresses for a while.

Not related to them or anything, I was just a satisfied customer for a few months. I gave it up when I realized I almost never downloaded movies and music anymore.

Slashdotted.
yahoo cache [yahoo.com]
google cache [74.125.93.132]

Re:Time to get a Relakks account (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245150)

I've found exactly the same as this. I've not bought or downloaded any new movies songs, or consumed any media from Big4 or Hollywood in a long time. No doubt that's because I'm a scurvy sea-dog, though.

Oh, wait... I haven't downloaded anything either. Guess that means that all of the new stuff sucks. Who would have thought it could get so bad that people didn't want it for free?

Re:Time to get a Relakks account (1)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245476)

Oh, wait... I haven't downloaded anything either. Guess that means that all of the new stuff sucks. Who would have thought it could get so bad that people didn't want it for free?

"you and cerberusss" != "people"

Clearly, there are lots of people who do want this stuff, for free or not.

Politicians (3, Insightful)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244846)

Everyone who's been observing politicians knows how to react to such allegations: "I do not remember doing that" (you don't deny, so you can't get caught in a lie).

Re:Politicians (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244898)

"I did not have bittorrential relations with that tracker"

Re:Politicians (4, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245020)

"I connected, but I didn't download."

Re:Politicians (3, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245184)

You got stuck at 99% too, huh?

Re:Politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30244948)

It's true that, because of illegal downloading, stars are going to live in small homes and die of starvation.

Re:Politicians (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245338)

Until they bring in brain scanners (or people who read body language) that can tell when you're lying. At that point you need to start wiping your memory of downloading copyrighted content, leaving you with the wonderful situation of going "ooo, where did that come from?" :D

"Suspected" (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244848)

In other words, they can prove that the person uses BitTorrent but not what they're using it for.

Re:"Suspected" (0, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244916)

How do you twist word suspected in to that? They aren't suspected of using BitTorrent, they are suspected of using BitTorrent for spreading copyrighted content without a right to do so. And now the copyright owners are suing them.

Re:"Suspected" (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245130)

It may be optimistic to presume that the relevant parties have actually confirmed "what" is being transfered.

Re:"Suspected" (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245154)

well, they're suspected of hosting/seeding copyrighted material. The evidence is being pointed to by a torrent tracker for a file with the same name as a copyrighted work. Odds are, it's the copyrighted work in question, but it might not be. Odds are, you actually had the file shared on your harddrive at the time, but you might not have (it could have been a 'glitch' or erroneous pointer). Odds are, there was no legitimate grounds for you to provide broad access to and distribution for the material that is likely protected under someone else's copyright, but you might have.

So, it's all 'suspected' until proven. Seeding provides some pretty good evidence, though.

BT / Virgin Media / etc (5, Insightful)

coofercat (719737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244858)

From the summary, one might draw the conclusion that "be a BT customer, and you're more of a target", but I seem to remember BT being the biggest ISP in the UK by quite a big margin*. Virgin Media (aka. NTL / Telewest) are the second largest*, and so it goes on. So I suppose it's reasonable that BT would account for the majority of the infractions. Conversely, BT have amongst the shittiest networks of all, so you'd imagine that the file sharers weren't actually sharing that much after all. But I suppose that would mean BT won't mind 25,000 people getting cut off, because it'll save them having to upgrade their network (like they say they're doing on the TV ads they're running at the moment).

So the real take-away here is that if you're at a small ISP, you're less likely to be targeted (at least until the big ones tumble). Meanwhile, the utter incompetence of the BPI and their friends should keep this from being anything more than an annoyance for 30,000 people. If even 5000 of them follow up and challenge their accusers, it'll tie the whole system up for months, if not years.

The BPI, Mandleson, and their ilk have an idealised view that file sharing should be super-illegal and so almost entirely eradicated. The problem is, best estimates suggest 7 million people in the UK share files*, so even if half give up from fear of prosecution, that's still 3.5 million people they've got to prosecute. I don't imagine there's a lawyer in the UK who's capable of executing that many cases in a decade, let alone simultaneously.

(* No, I can't substantiate this with a link right now - you know how to use a search engine though, right?)

Re:BT / Virgin Media / etc (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244950)

Yes, which is exactly why they're trying to bypass the courts and make it possible for mere accusation to be enough to be punished.

Re:BT / Virgin Media / etc (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245044)

Yes, which is why it is *urgent* that all 30,000 of those people, upon receiving notice, contact a lawyer and file an immediate suit for harassment, thus removing the industry's ability to pick and choose who to actually fight in court. There is strength in numbers.

Further, it is also essential that those people send letters to their MPs demanding that they fix the law to prevent these abuses. Ignoring the plight of 30,000 organized people would be career suicide.

Re:BT / Virgin Media / etc (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245330)

I can't work out if this is a parody, or whether you're actually serious.

First, in what possible way, shape, manner or form is accessing publicly available information and then using it to file in court for discovery "harassment"? Cite the English / Scots statute under which you'd file a civil suit.

Even if you could "organize"(sic) 30,000 people - which you can't - that's 46 people in each of the UK's 646 Parliamentary constituencies. It's an insignificant number.

Opponents of anti-piracy laws might be more credible if you kept themselves grounded in reality rather than raving in absolutes about how the world should work.

BT's Statement (4, Informative)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244934)

I am very impressed by the statement from BT:

A BT Spokesperson told ISPreview in September:

"BT and other ISPs agreed to send 1,000 notifications alleging copyright infringement a week for a 12-week trial period, with BT picking up the bill for this activity for our own customers as an act of goodwill. However, it was understood that at the end of this period, we would need to take stock and have further discussions with the rights holders about costs etc.

During this period, the BPI sent us around 21,000 alleged cases, but less than two-thirds proved to be properly matched to an IP address of a BT customer and not a duplicate, so this could indicate that the true extent of this activity is much lower than the 100,000 number the BPI claim since February. In addition since none of the customers we wrote to during the trial were subsequently taken to court by the BPI, we don't know whether they were actually guilty of infringement."

I never knew BT could actually sound reasonable. What a shame governments are still left trailing behind on common sense and decency.

Why, oh why, oh why? (4, Insightful)

xirtam_work (560625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244956)

Isn't the logical conclusion that if millions of people find a particular type of behaviour acceptable that it should be legalised? Otherwise it's socially unjust. We're not talking about murder or actual *stealing*. We're talking about copyright infringement. If we think it's a bad thing then we should also be allowed to decide how bad the punishment is, whether it's a small fine or a prison sentence.

I visit the cinema on average once a week and every time the copyright warning is displayed and mentions 10 years in prison for recording a movie in a cinema I cringe. That's more than people get for killing and maiming people, robbing banks and committing other violent crimes. The MP's are in the pockets of the media companies. I'm not talking about small indie film studios, but the distributors and those who own them like Sony, etc. They've been persuaded that if the penalties are high enough people will not perform actions that are trivial to execute and have no visible consequences. This has been shown not to be true time and time again.

I buy lots of DVDs and DVD boxsets. I probably spent about £500 a year on these. I pay for the cinema one a week. I buy music on iTunes and only search elsewhere online if I can't find what I want. As a kid I pirated every virtual computer game in existence in the 8/16 bit eras. Now I rarely play games, apart from on my iPhone which I pay for. I don't have TV at home, so *sometimes* I get TV shows I like online before going out and buying the full season boxset as soon as it becomes available. I might consider buying them on iTunes or similar if they were available at a reasonable price, but they're not. Most episodes of TV shows cost far more than the equivalent DVD for lower quality and no physical media to keep and store and are non-transferable to other machines, etc. I hope I'm not one of the people discovered in this haul of IP addresses, but I do not download movies, only a little bit of TV. Fingers crossed.

Re:Why, oh why, oh why? (2, Informative)

arethuza (737069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245000)

Doubleplus ungood thoughtcrime!! Copyright infringement is stealing. Copyright infringement has always been stealing.

Re:Why, oh why, oh why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245122)

My thoughs on this are if there are so many people "pirating" movies/tv shows then there must be a market to allow users to download them and pay for them either individually or via a subscription. The future is clearly on-demand viewing.
Why are the copyright holders trying so hard to protect their current revenue stream when there is an un-tapped additional revenue stream? In the same way that downloading music online legally has flourished since Napster's made people think it was ok to not own physical media downloading/streaming films/tv shows will catch on and be big business, eventually putting dvd shops, dvd rental places and traditional tv channels out of business.

So BT are even worse (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30244966)

So not only are BT expensive, slow, with terrible customer service (bar one guy I managed to get hold of when I was stupid enough to be with BT), but they give up their customers, or even just hand them over without being ask to.

Re:So BT are even worse (1)

arethuza (737069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245176)

Wow - we must have met the same guy. They do have at least one rather good engineer who fixed our line issue in a rather interesting and resourceful way. However, to protect him I won't give anything away otherwise they would probably use the information to track him down, make him submit to enhanced customer service retraining then shoot him.

Narrow Definition of Infringement? (4, Informative)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245032)

If you go to the ACS web site thier definition of infringement seems to only apply to P2P traffic and even then seems to be limited to uploads.

Anyone with half a brain-cell would not use P2P networks for piracy anyway!

If you are really worried, the article has a link to http://www.beingthreatened.com/ [beingthreatened.com] - they seem to have some genuine advice.

By the way if you decide to pay the fine, it means you have admitted to guilt and will not be able to contest it or get your money back!
If you recieve a letter asking for payment under NO circumstances pay it!

Also, reply to the letter as soon as you can - you have a limited time to respond to it (cannot remember how long).

Re:Narrow Definition of Infringement? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245196)

And don't go erasing or replacing your hard drive immediately after. That will just make your case worse.

Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (1)

jackflap (715225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245052)

any Limewire-like apps out there which support encryption?

Re:Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (3, Informative)

Deth_Master (598324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245142)

http://torrentfreak.com/how-to-encrypt-bittorrent-traffic/ [torrentfreak.com]
Just turn on encryption in your favorite torrent client, and only allow encrypted connections. In combination with the Distributed Hash Table [wikipedia.org] , Magnet Links [wikipedia.org] , and Peer Exchange [wikipedia.org] , an entirely decentralized file sharing system will work

Re:Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245180)

yes, you can find them here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients#Features_I [wikipedia.org]

Sort according to Encryption setting. note you won't see LimeWire on the list. Don't be scared.

Re:Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245200)

I stand corrected, there it is, supposedly with encryption. Is that just the Pro version?

Re:Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245206)

You don't need encryption, you need anonymity.
There are a few networks like OneSwarm [washington.edu] and GNUnet [gnunet.org] and you can run a Gnutella network [i2p2.de] or BitTorrent [i2p2.de] on top of I2P [i2p2.de] . Don't expect to find much, though.
You can also sign up for an anonymous VPN service like Relakks [relakks.com] and continue to use whatever you are used to.

Re:Need a way to encrypt Limewire now (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245472)

Encryption only hides it from your ISP noticing what you're doing. If you're hosting shit on Gnutella, your ass is going to get canned.

Take action (2, Insightful)

CookedGryphon (1096241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245102)

Everyone who thinks this is a bad idea should sign this government petition, get everyone they know to sign the petition, and generally cause a ruckus
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/dontdisconnectus/ [number10.gov.uk]

Then install Tor, because you have to look out for yourself when you don't live in a democracy any more.

Re:Take action (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245362)

Yes, because getting sent a letter saying "we believe you were committing a crime" ends your nation's ability to vote on who controls their nation...

Re:Take action (1)

CookedGryphon (1096241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245444)

Depends on your definition of democracy, if you see it as picking your dictator (from, I might add, quite a limited pool), fine I accept your point.

If however you have a more rose tinted view, like the view that the will of the majority matters, then we should get a say in matters of law, not just be told what's legal and illegal

Time to encrypt everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245144)

How much more of this crap will it take before all internet traffic is switched to use HTTPS, PGP etc. ?

What is it going to take for the geeks of the world to say "enough of this crap" ?

It is our internet after all. We built it.

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (0)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245306)

It is our internet after all. We built it.

Al? Is that you?

Re:Time to encrypt everything. (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245440)

>It is our internet after all. We built it.

The internet was build primarily by various universities, governments, and the US military, and it basically remained their toy for about twenty years. In the early 1990s a clever piece of software came along that allowed people without deep computer knowledge (well beyond that of the typical BBS/Fidonet user of the time) to use it easily.

Gives me an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30245238)

My NEW Business Model...

Send out massive bulk snail mail (widely dispersed across the country as possible) claiming some copyright infringement (being really vague about the infringement on some copyright your bogus company actually does own)...

The letter would say something like: It has come to our attention that you have infringed upon our Copyright.. We "can" pursue charges OR we "can" settle out of court.

Now request a small amount (less than $500). The fear implied that they will face full legal action potentially costing thousands of dollars will be enough to scare most people.

If anyone really contests it then drop them... claim it was your mistake and apologize for the error (hell even you even offer $5-$10 gift certificate for your error if your getting lost of people to pay up). Most people have infringed on some copyright so some people will pay (easy to determine the threshold limit by average household income in a given postal code).

If you mail drop to 1 million homes (say at the outrageous cost of $1 million to generate the letters and pay for postage). Asking for an average of $200. Then you just need 0.5% to pay up to break even. In reality you will most likely get 10-20% pay up. At 10% you net $20,000,000.

See the problem with allowing fishing expeditions... very easy for a company to claim an error and never actually pursue legal action. The current system is in favor of the company.

BTW: I am patenting this business model as I write this and will happily licences it for a 10% of your gross for implementing it.

That's criminal extortion. Period. (2, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30245470)

The customers concerned are 'suspected' of illegally file sharing (P2P) approximately 291 movie titles, they now face threatening demands for money (settlement) or risk the prospect of court action.

The emphasized part is bullshit fearmongering to get them to pay. Expect the “charges” to be dropped as soon as you refuse and tell them to go fuck themselves. I’ve already seen it twice. You don’t pay, and nothing happens.

Which is obvious, since they have no proof, no legal anything, and were it not for the changes they pressed into law, they would not even be listened to by the courts.

If you got such a letter, tell them to go fuck themselves, because they don’t even know what “proof” is in computers, because they know shit about how computers work.

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