BPI, the equivalent of the RIAA in the UK, is apparently insisting that the evidence it uses to accuse file sharers of infringement is "of an extremely high standard." Of course, the "evidence" is an IP address, which anyone with a basic understanding of technology knows is, by itself, not indicative of much. You could combine that with other evidence to have a bit more useful info, but IP addresses are hardly the sort of "extremely high standard" of evidence you would think they are from the BPI's claims. So, the folks at the Open Rights Group are asking BPI to back up their claims that the evidence is of such a high standard and that UK courts have accepted this evidence
, asking a simple yes or no question:
Has any UK court ever treated an IP address as being sufficient by itself to identify a defendant as a copyright infringer in a contested copyright infringement claim decided after a trial of an action?
This is because -- in typical recording industry misleading fashion -- BPI uses weasel words in its claims, saying
It is the same quality of evidence that was provided in more than one hundred cases to the High Court in litigation against end users and which was accepted by the court in each case. Most of these cases resulted in settlements, and all of those on which judgment was given found in the BPI's favour
Hmm, citing settlements is useless because a "settlement" is not a ruling on the merits, and therefore does not prove that an IP address is quality evidence. And while judgments are made on the merits, saying that such evidence was used in successful cases is not the same thing as saying an IP address, in and of itself, is sufficient to prove infringement. Apparently, ORG asked BPI to clarify this well over a month ago, and still has not received an answer. Shocking.