British ISPs warn Internet downloaders on the risk of being prosecuted

By EDRi · June 18, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

As a continuation of the actions started in March 2008, and despite opinions
that ISPs should not act as an Internet police, the major British record
labels represented by British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Virgin Media,
UK’s largest provider of home broadband, have joint forces in a campaign
meant to fight illegal music downloads.

Virgin Media has started warning Internet users illegally downloading
music that they may be prosecuted, by sending letters to thousands of
households where such activities have taken place.

This appears to be the first step in the attempt of BPI to get ISPs to
implement a “three strikes and out” rule, meaning warning and ultimately
disconnecting the estimated 6.5 million customers whose accounts are used
for illegal downloading activity.

“Virgin Media is the first ISP to publicly address the problem. It is a
socially responsible ISP and I think other ISPs will look at this and see
progress. I am very encouraged they have engaged with us. They understand
the rights of musicians” said Geoff Taylor, BPI’s chief executive.

BPI and Virgin have chosen to start with an educational phase before taking
any legal action against Internet illegal downloaders. “Education is the
absolute key to reducing the amount of illegal downloading … new
partnerships with ISPs can help build an internet in which music is properly
valued” stated Taylor.

The intention is first to educate customers during a 10-week trial campaign
through “informative” letters they will send which will however be
accompanied by a written warning from the BPI, threatening with
disconnection and a court case for those who continue to download illegally.

The first letters sent do not consist in threats of disconnection. The
letter says:
“We understand you may be concerned about this, and you might be unsure how
it happened. One possible answer is that other people in your household have
used your computer and/or internet connection, and they might have shared
these files with others by using unauthorised ‘peer-to-peer/P2P’ filesharing
networks like ‘BitTorrent’ or ‘Limewire’. However, you need to make sure
that these files aren’t downloaded or shared from your Virgin Media internet
connection in future.”

Virgin warns illegal downloaders: stop or face prosecution (7.06.2008)

British ISP, recording industry warn illegal downloaders (6.06.2008)

Virgin Media’s downloading education campaign represents a turning point in
digital music (13.06.2008)

Virgin Media Sample Letter

EDRI-gram: UK: ISPs are not the Internet cops (9.04.2008)

Virgin sends file-sharing warnings to customers (16.06.2008)