Recording Industry Asks ISPs To Shut Down Accounts Of File Sharers

from the will-they-have-any-customers-left? dept

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI, the UK equivalent of the RIAA) apparently is taking a slightly different position on going after people who share unauthorized files online. Rather than suing them, they're now presenting evidence to ISPs and asking those ISPs to cancel user accounts for breaking the ISPs' terms of service. This actually seems like a fairly reasonable policy, so long as they don't demand that the ISP automatically remove these users. It certainly beats suing everyone for thousands of dollars and suggesting they drop out of school to pay. There's nothing wrong with giving the ISP evidence and then letting the ISP investigate, as long as they also give the user a chance to make his or her case in response as well. If the customer is actually breaking the terms of service, then its fair game for the ISP to decide how to deal with that subscriber. The BPI, though, suggests in the article that the evidence they've given the ISP is "unequivocal," which is hard to believe given the number of false accusations the industry has made -- and the important fact that an IP address does not identify a specific user. So what will be most interesting is seeing how the industry responds if the various ISPs don't follow their marching orders and shut these accounts down.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    anonymous cowards, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    that's like using lube while you rape someone.

    first!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    duhblow7, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 2:47pm

    better than them using chalk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 2:59pm

    They better get it right

    I don't know about the law everywhere but I know that where I live the industry association better get it right if they are going to make such an accusation.

    If they start writing to public utilities saying that I am breaking the law and the ISP should cut off my internet service as a conseqence that is a libelous allegation of criminal conduct if it is wrong and the courts here may slam them hard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    wOW, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 3:31pm

    So if this fails, will they get the power companies to cut power to houses that house these horrible offenders? I don't think that ISPs will bite the hands that feed them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Tyshaun, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 4:30pm

    Re:

    So if this fails, will they get the power companies to cut power to houses that house these horrible offenders? I don't think that ISPs will bite the hands that feed them.


    It's no like the ISP would have a choice. I don't know how it is in England but my ISP agreement clearly states that if it is shown that I am using my connection to engage in illegal actvity (sharing copyrighted material without permission) they will disconnect it. If the ISP is presented with valid data indicating criminal activity, they put themselves in a very tenuous legal position if they DON'T cut you off (I'm not a lawyer but it sounds like aiding and abeting to me).

    I have to agree that this is at least a reasonable and legal way to try to deter file sharing. It's also proportional. I've never liked the idea of RIAA suing someone for 10s of thousands of dollars just because they ripped some songs that maybe were worth a couple of bucks each.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Count Porkula, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Re:

    I agree with you, wOW, but the record industry bites the hand that feeds it as often and hard as possible. Hopefully ISPs can do better.

    I have no doubt that the RIAA would have power shut off to our houses if it thought it could.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Cyryl The Wolf, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    You'd damn well better believe that they will bite that hand.

    Do you think that the ISP really wants to bring on possible litigations from the RIAA/MPAA to their own table? The customer is supposed to come first...this is true. And of course the customer pays the ISP significant amounts of money for their services. But you're a damn fool if you think that they won't cut a customer (or a few hundred...) to avoid legal battles with these industries.

    Now if you wanna lay money down on that...feel free. You'd lose. I had Time Warner threaten to cut my service off because some ass was going over my wireless router and sharing movie files. Upon contacting Time Warner about the e-mails I was receiving from them they were able to cite specific file names, times and IP address sharing them. The only things that they weren't able to tell me were the details of the individual information behind my gateway. (Of course.)

    I was told that if they received one more complaint from any insitutions about files being shared...that they would shut down my service.

    Think about it.

    Now... To those of you out there who might be trying to figure out ways around this BS... Here is your answer for getting into those huge DC hubs without risking your rear:

    Download about 30-40GB of Linux ISO files and share THOSE. Believe it or not there are actually people out there looking for them in the hubs rather than being SMART and downloading them from a mirror.

    This will not only allow you to get into larger hubs but will also help to advocate the Linux Open-Source initiative. This is what I have always done rather than risking my ass while trying to download a few things.

    The RIAA, MPAA or even the BSA can bitch about THAT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Cyryl The Wolf, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 4:34pm

    Correction

    The RIAA, MPAA or even the BSA -CAN'T- bitch about THAT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    PyRoFReaC, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 4:53pm

    IP Addresses in ISP-world

    I think the evidence will hold up just fine. Even though the BPI cannot tell the ISP which user is using the IP, they CAN give them a list of IP addresses committing the violations at the time they were committed, and the ISP will be able to figure out which user it was based on their usage records.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    non-ISP squirrel, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 5:16pm

    ISP in the middle

    Right now the ISP's can afford to piss of a few people by just turning off their customers feeds in response to a "complaint" like that.

    However if they start getting mass numbers of complaints, they'll have a huge uproar to deal with which will lead to complaints to the states or the FCC.

    this problem is only manageable if the solution is to victimize a few (nail one to the cross ok, nail hundreds, you got a real riot on your hands) to make examples of them.

    The only real solution is for someone to come up with a workable business model that puts the RIAA out of business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Guy, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 5:58pm

    This is what will happen

    Alright this is what will happen just watch and it will you see some person unlucky enought to use their internet connection to downlod moves and games and applications wil be caught by the MPAA RIAA Ect Ect Ect those industries will contact his or her ISP and ask them to be shut down after show evidence showing they where braching their contract now this person wants to save money b/c they are cheap basters( Hence why they download Movies and apps and games)so hes got Comcast Cable not DSL so he/She feels thay can get rid of the land line phone and get Vonage24.9 a month a great deal anyway now they don't have the internet they don't have a working phone and what happens next the house catches fine but they havent been out of their house for a while and realize they have so much Crap piles up in the house they can't get out so they try and dial 911 but they can't b/c the internet is turned off to they die all b/c they where not smart enought to use Newsgroups like ME

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Guy, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 6:00pm

    This is what will happen

    Alright this is what will happen just watch and it will you see some person unlucky enought to use their internet connection to downlod moves and games and applications wil be caught by the MPAA RIAA Ect Ect Ect those industries will contact his or her ISP and ask them to be shut down after show evidence showing they where braching their contract now this person wants to save money b/c they are cheap basters( Hence why they download Movies and apps and games)so hes got Comcast Cable not DSL so he/She feels thay can get rid of the land line phone and get Vonage24.9 a month a great deal anyway now they don't have the internet they don't have a working phone and what happens next the house catches fine but they havent been out of their house for a while and realize they have so much Crap piles up in the house they can't get out so they try and dial 911 but they can't b/c the internet is turned off to they die all b/c they where not smart enought to use Newsgroups like ME

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Just Red, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 6:03pm

    RIAA

    You know, with all the accusations flying from the RIAA, has anyone ever thought of countersuit for them infringing upon our privacy? Whatever happened to all the honest people out here? I know that before the "Napster" incident, I downloaded music. But one of the people on my street did actual time in the county house for downloading music. He never raped anyone. He never sold or even did drugs. He never hit his wife. Never even beat his children, but downloading music, boy, now that is out of line! Stupid communists. Today, when I download music, I make sure I have a receipt to show anyone that feels important enough to ask me. I will never buy another Metallica album and I will never buy anything from anyone that supports the RIAA and their invasive, unrealistic, rediculous rules that do nothing more than make rich lawyers richer and rich people richer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Trvth Jvstice, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 6:10pm

    IMO

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Trvth Jvstice, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 6:16pm

    Re: IMO

    The same people complaining about the invasion of their privacy when it comes to getting caught sharing copyrighted files, are probably outraged when they hear about some 3rd world business pirating movies or music in their country. I don't see the difference. An entertainer or production company is still out a certain amount of cash.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    parched, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: IMO

    The same people complaining about the invasion of their privacy when it comes to getting caught sharing copyrighted files, are probably outraged when they hear about some 3rd world business pirating movies or music in their country.

    I seriously doubt it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    eflotsam, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 7:30pm

    And another reason for compliance...

    could be that they really don't like the tech-savvy user who knows where to find movies, ISO images and other huge bandwidth-killers. These users get in the way of them being able to deliver more high-speed pipes to newbies who use a fraction of their advertised available bandwidth.
    Has an ISP ever been sued by consumers for not providing the advertised bandwidth? I didn't think so. "Trust us" they say, "it's expensive so it must be fast."
    Now they boot the high bandwidth users? Shocking but not surprising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Mike, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 8:59pm

    And what about...

    So these people think they caught you downloading music illegally and the ISP cuts off your service. You've never downloaded music illegally... ever. Nor has your family, your kids, anyone.

    But your open wireless network allowed your neighbor's kids to illegally download music. And now you don't have an internet connection and you can't figure out why.

    Wrongfully screwed, anyone?

    (Yes, I realise it's possible to have a closed wireless network.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2006 @ 9:53pm

    Re: And what about...

    Are you really dumb enough to believe that your TOS agreement does not include language stating that you are not permitted to share your connection with "external" users outside of your immediate family?

    This is the brilliance of this particular campaign. The content owner does not need to try to sue a user, it simply leans on the ISP. In the US the ISP is trying to maintain its "safe harbor" status with regards to the DMCA; it is obligated to investigate and shut down the user if the evidence holds up, failing to do so shifts the liability for illegal action to include the ISP.

    Your TOS basically says that you are responsible for all packets that originate at your side of the demarc and the ISP really doesn't care what your excuse is if these packets are participating in illegal activity.

    You weren't wrongfully screwed, you were either an idiot, a gullible moron, or an asshat and any of these classifications are sufficient justification for the ISP to decide that they no longer want you as a customer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Bob Jones, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 3:37am

    So we are mad at the BPI for attacking a small number of people who are breaking the law? They have considerable evidence.

    So we are mad at the ISPs who may cut these users off because they broke their contract?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 6:29am

    My 2 cents worth

    Eureka, someone finally got a brain! Now I just hope the RIAA is watching so they will stop going after the expensive lawsuits so I will hear less and less about the subject.

    1. If you are going to "aquire" music (or other digital files) take the time to learn the right way to do it (note: right way doesn't always mean legal way).

    2. You really should read the fine print on the contract that you signed with your ISP. They will give you another copy if you lost the original (minus signature most likely).

    3. Learn which methods of transferring files can be easily monitored by third parties (RIAA on Napster anyone). This will take some homework but it ties in with no. 1. Once you know, avoid the monitoring traps. (another note: easily monitored definatly does not have to be legal, as proved with Napster reverse engineering.)

    4. Understand that there is no such thing as annonymous on the internet. There is always a trail created for every little action online. How much of that is logged is another story, but I'm sure that it will soon go the way of 100% logged. If it ever does go to 100% logged you had best stop all activity that is even remotely close to almost illegal no matter what method you were doing it before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Flamsmark (profile), Jul 11th, 2006 @ 6:52am

    Re: 'aiding and abetting'

    I'm not a lawyer but it sounds like aiding and abeting to me

    not quite: carriers in the us or the eu [where the state is a signatory to the relavant treaty, which the uk is] are not responsible for the content passed accross their networks. no matter what criminal activity occurs as a result of the packets that they pass, they are not liable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    anonymous coward, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 11:54am

    just means more business for the CD/DVD trading websites...

    I've exchanged over 200 CDs in less than three months and spent a little over $100 and it is completely legal and there is NOTHING the RIAA can do to stop it.

    The morality of services like this might bother me, if the RIAA, MPAA, Ticketmaster, ClearChannel, et al weren't so absolutely corrupt and immoral themselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Jul 11th, 2006 @ 12:49pm

    Re: IP Addresses in ISP-world

    they CAN give them a list of IP addresses committing the violations at the time they were committed

    And how are they going to prove (1) what the content was? (2) that the anonymous uploader did not have authority to upload it? and (3) that the user actually and knowingly uploaded the content to a person not authorized to receive it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    &&&&&, Mar 19th, 2007 @ 7:25pm

    My friend actually just got busted for this. He was downloading a torrent of Microsoft Visual Basic for school (he left his disk at school and was at home downloading it) and his ISP dropped him and Microsoft blacklisted him because he was illegally downloading for it.

    Also, I would much rather have my ISP drop me and close my connection for good rather than the massive fines that we face by using P2P services. RIAA doesn't really mess around, its a steep fine if they actually bust you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This