p2pnet news Freedom:- | P2P:- Europe is fast falling under the thrall of the feral Big 4 record companies, Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US).
In America, thanks to an industry compliant Bush administration, the labels have been able to build up an almost unassailable position where they say Jump and politicians ask How high?
The same thing is happening in Britain and France.
With the UK government pushing from behind, another British broadband provider, this time the country’s largest, has made the first moves in becoming an up-front, hard-core corporate copyright cop.
Big 4 ‘trade body’ the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) was, “working with Virgin” to have customers spammed with “warning letters,” p2pnet reported in March.
“The trial by the UK’s largest residential broadband supplier will go live within months and disconnecting customers who ignore warnings, a sanction favoured by the record BPI, remains an option. The trial will also be open to film and television studios,” said the Telegraph.
“This would be the first time a British internet company has publicly moved to share responsibility for curbing piracy.”
Now BT is similarly spamming subscribers, threatening them with disconnection, says The Register.
“The firm recently sent an email to one of its four million retail broadband customers, who asked not to be named, alleging that she had illegally participated in a network sharing of Biology, a song by Girls Aloud,” says the story, going on >>>
The email reproduces evidence collected by the BPI. It purports to show she used the open source filesharing program Ares in May this year to infringe sound recording copyright. Ares can be used as a client for both Gnutella and BitTorrent networks.
Geoff Taylor, chief of UK record industry trade body the BPI, told The Register in a statement today: “Establishing partnerships with ISPs is the number one issue for the BPI, and we are beginning to form positive working relationships with BT, Virgin Media and most of the other major ISPs.”
It’s unclear whether BT has agreed to formally implement the record industry’s preferred “three strikes” procedure that would see those accused of infringing music copyright warned twice and suspended or disconnected from the internet.
BPI evidence BT “shared with its customer” comprises the Ares user agent, a timestamp, a file name and an IP number, says The Register, going on:
“Collecting this kind of evidence does not require ISPs to monitor their customers’ internet connection. BPI investigators are simply able to collect lists of IP numbers participating in copyright-infringing peer-to-peer networks and trace which operator they belong to.
“Assuming the ISP has agreed to do so, it can then identify the individual account holder without sharing personal information with the BPI.
Committed downloaders, “are able to take technical counter-measures to dodge detection” but, says the story, “the record industry is hoping to win back the mass market”.
‘Unbelievable, officially sanctioned, violation of human rights’
In February, “In what would amount to an unbelievable, officially sanctioned, violation of human rights, the UK government seems set to cave in to corporate entertainment cartel demands to impose strict control on the Net, using ISPs as the foil,” said p2pnet.
Quoting Times Online, “People who illegally download films and music will be cut off from the internet under new legislative proposals to be unveiled next week,” p2pnet said.
ISPs would be, “legally required to take action against users who access pirated material,” said the story, going on:
“Users suspected of wrongly downloading films or music will receive a warning e-mail for the first offence, a suspension for the second infringement and the termination of their internet contract if caught a third time, under the most likely option to emerge from discussions about the new law.
“Broadband companies who fail to enforce the ‘three-strikes’ regime would be prosecuted and suspected customers’ details could be made available to the courts. The Government has yet to decide if information on offenders should be shared between ISPs.”
In France, culture minister Christine Albanel presented the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ P2P file sharing bill to cabinet, e”ffectively turning the country into a massive taxpayer financed, but entertainment industry controlled, copyright enforcement agency,” p2pnet posted recently.
“The legislation would set up a new administrative body that would receive complaints from the music and film industry and track down offenders through Internet service providers,” said Agence France-Presse.
“An e-mail warning would be sent to suspected downloaders followed by a registered letter,” it says.
After two “strikes,” suspects would risk losing their Net broadband connections for up to a year.
In an different story, in a move which would, “represent the most radical supply-side reform ever considered by the music business in the modern era,” ‘legal’ file sharing broadband subscription services could appear in the UK by year’s end, said The Register.
According to ‘music industry’ sources, “The UK would become the second country after South Korea where the music business has agreed to offer licenses to file sharing services in a bid to reverse declining revenues,” it said, continuing:
“The co-operation follows the intervention of ‘Brown’s Fist’, the former advisor and Parliamentary Under-Secretary at BERR (the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) Baroness Shriti Vadera (right). Vadera is understood to have threatened both the ISP and music businesses with reform and policy intervention, threats which encouraged both parties to open negotiations.”
The BPI has identified your IP address
UK soul and R&B singer-songwriter Joss Stone thinks sharing music online is “brilliant”.
Most artists are, she declared, “brainwashed by the industry“but she, “encouraged people to share her music”.
BT, though, doesn’t agree.
Below is part of its letter to users, as published by The Register >>>
I have received a complaint regarding one of our customers offering copyrighted material over the internet. On investigation, I have found that your account was used to make this offer.
This activity must stop immediately.
Sorry, but we’re obliged to point out that further similar problems may have to lead to the termination of your account, as such activity contravenes BT’s Acceptable Use Policy. Please note that, should your account be closed as a result of contravention of BT’s Acceptable Use Policy, you will still have to pay any sums owing under the terms of your contract with us.
Please find below a copy of the Takedown Notice which we have been asked to forward to you from the BPI.
BT ASDL No: [redacted]
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT USING PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKS
This letter is being forwarded to you by BT. You should read it carefully.
The BPI is the UK recorded music industry’s trade association. The BPI protects and promotes British music and represents the interests of British record companies that together account for 90% of recorded music output in the United Kingdom. More information on the BPI can be found on the BPI’s website: www.bpi.co.uk. The BPI also acts on behalf of the musical performers and record companies that are members of Phonographic Performance Limited (“PPL”).
The BPI has established that the internet connection provided to you by BT has been used to infringe copyrights that are owned or controlled by the members of BPI and PPL.
This letter sets out:
(i) the evidence that the BPI has identified in relation to your internet connection;
(ii) the rights that have been infringed (i.e. why it is illegal) via your internet connection; and
(iii) what the BPI requires you to do now.
The evidence that BPI has identified
The BPI’s evidence shows that a peer-to-peer application has been installed on a computer using your internet connection. Sound recordings have been copied and stored in the “shared files directory” of that computer. That directory is now accessible to other users of the peer-to-peer application. The sound recordings in that directory have then been made available to other members of the public via your internet connection. This is an infringement of the copyright in those sound recordings.
Copyright law provides that sound recordings cannot be communicated to the public without permission.
The BPI has confirmed to us that no record company member of BPI or PPL has given permission to an individual to communicate sound recordings to the public via the peer-to-peer network that has been operated using your internet connection.
The BPI has identified your IP address. The exact time and date upon which recordings were downloaded from a computer connected to the internet using your internet connection has also been recorded.
The BPI has notified BT of this information and they have agreed to write to you.
At present, the BPI has not obtained details of your identity and address but is entitled to apply to Court for disclosure of those details, if it wishes to do so. The BPI may then bring legal proceedings against you for infringement of copyright, as it has done against other individuals whose internet connections have been used in a similar way to infringe copyright.
. .Stumble It!
p2pnet – Virgin Media as copyright cop, March 31, 2008
Telegraph – Virgin Media takes fight to illegal downloaders, March 31, 2008
The Register – BT starts threatening music downloaders with internet cut-off, June 26, 2008
p2pnet – Britain to turn ISPs into corporate copyright cops, February 12, 2008
Times Online – Internet users could be banned over illegal downloads, February 12, 2008
p2pnet – France joins RIAA, MPAA, June 19, 2008
The Register – Legal, British P2P ‘by end of year’, June 26, 2008
brainwashed by the industry – ‘Music should be shared’ – Joss Stone, June 26, 2008
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