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Print 33 comment(s) - last by messyunkempt.. on Dec 1 at 9:12 AM

Firm says its objective is to help its customers "exploit" their "rights globally"

Here in the U.S. the legal campaigns of the RIAA and MPAA are the subject of long standing controversy.  Decisions like the $1.92M USD verdict against mother Jammie-Thomas Rassert for 24 songs (allegedly representative of large infringement), largely divide the public, with some advocating suing infringers out of house and home and others blasting the tactics as thuggish and evidence of a out-of-touch intellectual property system.

The UK appears headed for more of this kind of controversy, as the law firm ACS:Law just secured approval from the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the addresses and personal info on 30,000 users from their internet service providers (ISPs).  The customers covered by the so-called Norwich Pharmacal Order are "suspected"  involvement with the illegal file sharing (P2P) of approximately 291 movie titles.  Of the suspected infringers, 25,000 had IP's with the UK service provider BT.

ACS:Law plans to try to shake down those who may have infringed, sending them threats to pay up or face a battle in court.  Judging by past settlements in the U.S., most of these cases will likely be settled for a few thousand dollars.  The letters do give some suspects an out by saying that if they think their connection was illegitimately reportedly used they can seek a solution, such as implicating possible suspects.  IP addresses are easily faked, hijacked, redirected and generally abused in ways that the systems employed by these kinds of trackers cannot detect.

Copyright protection organizations and their legal bulldogs have recently been particularly at odds with BT.  Their fury was particularly provoked when the UK Internet Service Providers Association which represents the ISP and others in June concluded that they were "not confident in [ACS:Law's] ability to identify [ILLEGAL] users."  ACS:Law fired back that BT was "shameful" for not taking greater action to prevent filesharing.  BT said such actions would violate its users' right privacy.

ACS: Law describes its company's objective, writing, "We are a law firm which specialises in assisting intellectual property rights holders exploit and enforce their rights globally. Illegal file sharing costs the creative industries billions of pounds every year. The impact of this is huge, resulting in job losses, declining profit margins and reduced investment in product development. Action needs to be taken and we believe a coordinated effort is needed now, before irreparable damage is done. "

Britain is home to some of the most aggressive copyright enforcement efforts.  Politicians with the majority Labour Party are looking to terminate filesharers who commit three offenses, forcing their ISPs to suspend their accounts.  British copyright organizations also recently threatened to sue a singing store employee, only to eventually back down.



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RE: Value out of nothing?
By Kiffberet on 11/30/2009 7:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
People out there who pay big bucks for mega-fast connections do it so they can download big files at top speed.
I bet most of these 'big files' are either games, movies or music - mostly pirated!
The only reason they pay for the fast connections and not your standard slow connection (which is actuclly no slower for web pages), is because they 'save' money by not buying games/movies/music.

So if the ISP's started handing over user details to lawyers, then people are going to jump ship and head to the next ISP who doesn't do this.
If all the ISPs started giving out user details, then I can guarentee you that sales of the premium/fast connections would plummet.
No one's going to pay a small fortune for a 20mb or 50mb connection for browsing the web...

Broadband providers would lose a fortune, so there's absolutely no way they'd want to work with any lawyers to get their users into trouble.


RE: Value out of nothing?
By messyunkempt on 12/1/2009 9:12:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I bet most of these 'big files' are either games, movies or music - mostly pirated! The only reason they pay for the fast connections and not your standard slow connection (which is actuclly no slower for web pages), is because they 'save' money by not buying games/movies/music


So because I pay a bit more to have a 50mbit connection I must therefore pirate games/films etc?

Lets see how well i can view web pages on a 'standard slow connection' while someone is watching sky player over the internet in another room, whilst another of my housemates is streaming a HD film from the xbox live marketplace.

There are plenty of legal bandwidth intensive applications, lots in fact that use up a lot more of your bandwidth than downloading a film or an album.

Maybe your statement would have been valid ten years ago but even then i'd say that you were making a huge assumption..


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