Pirate Party, the group that can be considered the politicial wing of downloaders the world over, have won a seat at the European elections. Following the recent conviction of the Pirate Bay founders, it shows where public opinion is on this issue.
Currently BPI have a three stage approach to stopping this activity:
Step One: Advice/Letter Sent out
At this stage the BPI send out a letter to the suspects. So far Virgin have sent out over 800 letters. These letters can only be be written with the assistance of the ISPs, who will provide information relating to the IP addresses collected.
Step Two: Suspension
If a customer’s account is identified a second time, their account is suspended. The customer is asked to sign a written undertaking stating that their account will not continue to be used illegally, and that they understand that further illegal use of that account may result in the cancellation of their contract. The account remains suspended until the undertaking is returned.
Step Three: Contract Cancellation
If a customer’s account is identified a third time, their contract with the internet service provider is cancelled, in line with the terms and conditions outlined in the contract
At this point the ISPs, along with BPI, will have had some very detailed monitoring of what the individual was uploading when and at what time.
The BPI state they identify the file sharers in the following way: “There is no “spying” under three-step: the evidence collected by the BPI is in fact made available by any uploader to in the normal course of using a p2p network. There is no “policing” by the ISP: it is the BPI, and not the ISP, who collects this evidence. Nor does the process raise “data protection issues”: no personal customer information is collected by the BPI in this process, nor is it requested by the BPI.“
If this is correct then this means that BPI are logging onto networks like E-Mule, Kazza, E-Donkey, etc, and downloading music. They then ID the IP address of the computers providing each song, pass the IP address to the ISP and let them write the letter.
If this is true, the tools provided by sites like BlueTack will help defeat BPI.
In April 2008 Charles Dunstone, the head of Talk Talk, of one of Britain’s biggest internet providers has criticised the music industry for demanding that he act against pirates.
The trade body for UK music, the BPI, asked internet service providers to disconnect people who ignore requests to stop sharing music.
But Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, which runs the TalkTalk broadband service, is refusing.
He said it is not his job to be an internet policeman.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said that the music industry has been fighting a losing battle to prevent people from swapping songs for nothing on the internet.
Mr Dunstone, whose TalkTalk broadband is Britain’s third biggest internet provider, said the demands are unreasonable and unworkable.
In October 2007 British and Dutch police shut down a “widely-used” source of illegally-downloaded music.
A flat on Teesside and several properties in Amsterdam were raided as part of an Interpol investigation into the members-only website OiNK.
The UK-run site has leaked 60 major pre-release albums this year alone, said the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
A 24-year-old man from Middlesbrough was arrested on Tuesday morning.
The IT worker was led from his home in the town’s Grange Road and is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law.
At the same time his employer – a large multi-national company – and his father’s home were also raided.
In Octover 2007 the UK Government was considering legislation to stop file sharing/music downloads in the UK
Lord Triesman, the parliamentary Under Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills, said intellectual property theft would not be tolerated.
“If we can’t get voluntary arrangements we will legislate,” he said.
Lord Triesman called on internet service providers to take a “more activist role” in the problem of illegal file-sharing.
There are ongoing talks between internet service providers and the music industry and these are, said Lord Triesman, “progressing more promisingly than people might have thought six months ago”.
“For the most part I think there are going to be successful voluntary schemes between the creative industries and ISPs. Our preferred position is that we shouldn’t have to regulate,” he said.
He admitted that the technology necessary to track illegal file sharing would mean that “it is quite possible to know where it is happening and who it is happening with”.
While he said that the government had no interest in “hounding 14-year-olds who shared music”, it was intent on tracking down those who made multiple copies for profit.
“Where people have registered music as an intellectual property I believe we will be able to match data banks of that music to music going out and being exchanged on the net,” he said.
“We have some simple choices to make. If creative artists can’t earn a living as a result of the work they produce, then we will kill off creative artists and that would be a tragedy.”