EU To Explore Legality Of Virgin Media's Copyright Cop Software

from the is-it-legal? dept

With the entertainment industry pushing hard to turn ISPs into copyright cops, some are quite reasonably concerned about privacy rights. Over in Europe, a human rights group has asked the European Commission to do an assessment of Virgin Media's new copyright cop software, and the EC has agreed to "monitor" it. Virgin Media insists there are no privacy issues, though it does seem worth mentioning that the maker of Virgin's software, Detica, has a strong relationship with government and intelligence agencies, working with them to "reveal actionable intelligence," so it seems pretty reasonable to question just what Virgin's software really does.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2010 @ 8:28pm

    My right to privacy trumps your fight on piracy.

    "It utilises so-called deep packet inspection, which means that it can identify actual file-names, making it possible to accurately find out what content is legal and what is not."

    As we all know, file-names are sacrosanct and can never be changed.

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

  • identicon
    are these politicians really aliens?, 26 Jan 2010 @ 8:39pm

    PROOF ITS GOING TO FAR

    this brings me to encryption ( i am form canada )
    am i right to say that british do not have the same legal right to encrypt as canadians

    maybe a pie in the face might help straighten some mps out
    OH wait they want that to be a terrorist act now

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2010/01/26/nl-byrne-terrorism-012610.htm l

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

    • identicon
      Terry Wilson, 27 Jan 2010 @ 1:05am

      Re: PROOF ITS GOING TO FAR

      I suppose it's slightly different for a real-time stream (a la SSL etc.).

      But in the UK, the law compels us to give up encryption keys otherwise we face prosecution, should it be deemed necessary to decrypt the data as part of a police/criminal investigation.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2010 @ 8:39pm

    Bad Phorm

    "He said the software is similar to that used by ad firm Phorm,"

    Well, that provides a clue.

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

  • identicon
    RD, 26 Jan 2010 @ 9:04pm

    Easy!

    "How does a file name provide details into whether its contents are in violation of any laws?"

    Thats so easy, I'm surprised you havent figured it out yet!

    See, the greedy Big Media corps, in cooperation with their bought-and-paid for Justice System judges and congressmen, know (KNOW!) that if the following are true, its illegal:

    1) Using P2P for any purpose
    2) Have any file that has the same, or similar, or even possibly slightly like, any of their copyrighted works
    3) Using any file sharing programs
    4) Having an IP address that shows up anywhere there might be any kind of file sharing going on
    4) Downloading any media-type files (music and videos) of any kind

    See, its easy! You are accused if you do anything. You are accused, therefore you are guilty. Simple, and absolutely 100% foolproof every time!

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

    • identicon
      TW, 27 Jan 2010 @ 1:10am

      Re: Easy!

      Not that I support their (**AA etc.) actions, or the way they go about things.

      The facts you cannot escape from, are the IP address doing the downloading is ALWAYS accurate, a file usually has a UNIQUE identifier against it on P2P networks, generally making the actual filename irrelevant.

      Not 100% on trackers, but surely they have to report the downloaders of content to help connect the two peers together, so it's not like facts are going to be pulled out of thin air.

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

      • icon
        Mr RC (profile), 27 Jan 2010 @ 3:21am

        Re: Re: Easy!

        "The facts you cannot escape from, are the IP address doing the downloading is ALWAYS accurate, a file usually has a UNIQUE identifier against it on P2P networks, generally making the actual filename irrelevant." Erm no it's not.. there are many many ways to generate a fake IP address.. and it's not just limited to 'tech people', there are a large number of programs out there that are simple to set up and completely obfuscate your real IP with something false.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 28 Jan 2010 @ 1:09am

        Re: Re: Easy!

        "The facts you cannot escape from, are the IP address doing the downloading is ALWAYS accurate"

        Way to make yourself look like a fool... Google "IP spoofing" and learn about the real world.

        "a file usually has a UNIQUE identifier against it on P2P networks, generally making the actual filename irrelevant."

        Great. OK then, tell me this. I have a file that's uniquely identified and has a filename of "Nosferatu 1922.avi". Tell me this, is this file the public domain and perfectly legal to share silent movie classic, or is it a retitled rip of Avatar? Which of your glorious unique identifiers are going to tell you whether I'm innocent or guilty of infringement.

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

  • icon
    dwind (profile), 27 Jan 2010 @ 4:49am

    I've been curious where they do the actual monitoring? In the isp's racks? They can't just put a sniffer on any wire and get the data plus I believe that would be wiretapping. In fact, I think anytime they sniff the wire it would be wiretapping?

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

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 27 Jan 2010 @ 7:51am

    The facts you cannot escape from, are the IP address doing the downloading is ALWAYS accurate, a file usually has a UNIQUE identifier against it on P2P networks, generally making the actual filename irrelevant.
    Except that downloading isn't actually prosecutable - because they can't prove that you knew that the provider didn't have the right to give you a copy.

    In fact you can't know for certain that you are receiving copyrighted content until after you have it. Actual prosecutions are always for uploading. Certain parties have been known to threaten alleged downloaders with prosecution - but they have never tried to follow through on those threats.

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

  • identicon
    Mark Ryder, 2 Feb 2010 @ 9:00pm

    'file sharing' is a nice word for 'thieving'

    @ richard
    ignorans is not a form of defence in the uk also if you downloading the latest blockbuster you know what your doing even music for that matter

    "deep packet inspection, which means that it can identify actual file-names, making it possible to accurately find out what content is legal and what is not."

    @all file sharers
    If you play the game of illegal file sharing (stealing) then serves you right your a common thief why deny it and moan because they are trying to catch you the rights of honest people do fall into question but its always those right the thieves use to escape their fate. We should tattoo all tracked file sharers across the fore head "i'm a Thief" so that when they complain about their rights we know they don’t deserver those rights

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


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