Another UK ISP Insists It Won't Become A Copyright Cop; Scolds BPI

from the not-here-to-do-your-work dept

Well there go those plans. Over in the UK, the British equivalent of the RIAA, the BPI, was pretty confident that it had the government on its side in forcing ISPs to become copyright cops and to kick off users found to be sharing unauthorized files. However, it looks like the BPI may have gotten a little ahead of itself. First, the BPI leaked to the press that Virgin Media would voluntarily agree only to have the ISP vehemently deny that it would do any such thing. Now, TalkTalk, the third largest ISP in the country isn’t just saying it won’t be a copyright cop fot the BPI, but its CEO is angrily denouncing the BPI for sending “the most unbelievably rude letter” demanding it do so. As its CEO said, it’s as if the BPI is making ISPs pay the price for the record labels own failure to adopt: “They’re not just shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted — the horse has left town, got married, and started a family.” The BPI, for its part, has also responded angrily claiming that TalkTalk “just doesn’t get it.” It then goes on to talk about “fairness” and “partnerships” apparently missing the irony that the record labels are notorious for not being particularly fair and being absolutely terrible partners.

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Companies: bpi, talktalk

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Comments on “Another UK ISP Insists It Won't Become A Copyright Cop; Scolds BPI”

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Jake says:

Hoo Boy...

Even if the BPI is being truthful in claiming that all they want British ISPs to do is react if handed proof that their clients are using their service to break the law -which in and of itself is not an unreasonable request, if we leave aside the question of exactly what constitutes copyright infringement and whether it’s even practical to try to uphold the law as it stands now- they’ve shot themselves in both feet and a kneecap with the tone of that letter. They can certainly forget taking any kind of legal action against ISPs, too; even if the precedents weren’t firmly in the defence’s favour -nobody’s ever sued a phone company and won because one of their clients made drug deals by phone, for example- judges tend to look with disfavour upon claimants who have attempted to use the threat of legal action as an intimidation tactic.

Anonymous Coward says:

What ja gonna do

Hot on the heals of the hit tv series COPS, is a new release this fall called POPs, (Publishers On Patrol).
We fade into the scene next to a POP driving a keyboard. He is on the look out for perps downloading copyrighted content. He explains how he really likes his job and the fact that his father was a POP. Suudenly he detects an illegal download occurring in the 163rd subnet of a local ISP. Quickly he saves the log for analysis and fowarding to the ISP in eager anticipation of an address. After commercial break, we join the swat team assembled outside the perps residence, tazers in hand. Stay tuned next week for the exciting raid and apprehension of this suspected terrorist, err I mean pirate, err maybe copyright infringer.

PaulT (profile) says:


Great to see the ISPs standing up to these people. They had me worried to begin with!

Perhaps the BPI should remember what they were sowing a few years ago that’s making them reap lower profits. This is the same organisation that used “trademark” laws to prevent websites like CDWow from importing CDs from Asia, forcing them to use UK suppliers (and therefore, much higher prices). All in the name of “saving jobs” of course, while in reality helping to drive the industry into the ground.

claire rand says:

uk legal system

trouble for the BPI is, they can try to get criminal charges, but that basically won’t happen without them doing a lot of expensive leg work. and they won’t get a penny back at the end of it.

or they can try a civil action, but they have to *prove* losses. the uk system does not allow them to profit form such actions, only to recover losses and reasonable costs.

hence you don’t make a living suing someone over here (yet) hence the fact the BPI have to get the ISPs to do this, a few legal actions would basically bankrupt them. since *they* haven’t suffered a loss. the respective companies could, but proving the loss amount would be difficult and potentially cause problems for them elsewhere.

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