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TalkTalk stand up for users and clashes with BPI
Friday 04 April 2008 01:01:34 by Sebastien Lahtinen

TalkTalk, part of the Carphone Warehouse has rejected the BPI's "three strikes" scheme which would mean disconnecting customers who the BPI had accused of illegally distributing music on the third strike after warnings.

The company claims to be one of the first major ISPs to reject the proposal as it considers the proposals 'unreasonable and unworkable' claiming it will take every practical and legal step to defend its customers.

"Our position is very clear, we are the conduit that gives users access to the Internet, we do not control the Internet nor do we control what our users do on the Internet. I cannot foresee any circumstances in which we would voluntarily disconnect a customer's account on the basis of a third party alleging a wrong doing. We believe that a fundamental part of our role as an ISP is to protect the rights of our users to use the Internet as they choose. We will fight any challenge to the sanctity of this relationship with every legal option available to us."

Charles Dunstone (CEO), The Carphone Warehouse Group

TalkTalk is of the view that the music industry is trying to shift the piracy problem on service providers rather than changing their business models to deal with the effects of changes in technology. It states that it will not adopt a scheme which "requires it to begin disconnections or sharing customer information with the music industry."

The company makes a point to state that it does not in any way condone illegal activities, but simply disagrees that it should be the role of ISPs to act as the Internet police.

Comments

Posted by fusen over 8 years ago
new found respect for CW
Posted by _TRIaXOR_ over 8 years ago
*gasp* I never relised I would ever say this but..

Well done CPW..
Posted by ian007jen over 8 years ago
Well done CPW. Come on all other ISP's take a stand with them.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"it considers the proposals 'unreasonable and unworkable' " given it's effectiveness in connecting and supporting broadband customers I can see how doing anything is a serious problem to Talk Talk. They just don't want the hassle and are dressing it up for PR purposes.
Posted by Pigmaster over 8 years ago
It is good of CPW to make this stand. If the BPI wants to go after someone they should do it all by their selves.

If someone sends me something iffy via the internet "like abusive emails" the ISP's don't help me when I report it to them , so why should the BPI be any different.
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
CPW don't want to police this purely and simply because it will involve additional cost.

Has nothing to do with protecting their customers.
Posted by gayboy-ds over 8 years ago
Yep. New respect for TalkTalk broadband. Now I do hope that they buy Tiscali.

Anyway, I have never bought a phone in the past from the CPW, but if Charlie Dunstone is supporting our rights, then he has a new customer from me.
Posted by doowles over 8 years ago
Massive respect to Carphone warehouse, its about time someone stood up and told the music industry they need to change rather than protecting their old business models with new legislation.
Posted by Barneyabz over 8 years ago
Fantastic stand from CPW - Main reason I suspect is that if they become in any way responsable for policing the net then they can be sued for breaches of copyright - far larger and easier target then millions of individual users. Whatever the reason though, the right stance to take. Well done CPW, now improve your service an dI might even join!
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
ISPs aren't particularly happy about customers that download large amounts of data so would ordinarily welcome anything that inhibits that.

I think it's mostly a PR exercise with CPW trying to hide behind their customer's best interests when they are actually just trying to avoid the hassle and cost.

Having written that though I think I'd have to welcome it. Despite being a possible PR exercise it's technically spot on and makes good points.
Posted by wispy over 8 years ago
it will also be interesting to see how other ISPs follow suit - if they all agree openly that they are mere conduits for data, it releases them for a whole lot of responsibilities!

in my mind, the BPI should be sorting it out themselves. In any other business, if there was a product that was so open to corruption and theft, the business would have to do something to protect itself, not ask other people to sort it out for them!
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"ISPs aren't particularly happy about customers that download large amounts of data so would ordinarily welcome anything that inhibits that."

I don't buy that arguement at all I'm afraid. ISP's offer huge usage allowances because they know it will attract customers.





Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@keith_thfc:Which ISPs do you know that offer 'huge' allowances? Whose definition of 'huge'? Any kind of allowance system shows that the ISP has an issue with downloaders.

Of course most are actually concerned about peak-time usage but then peak-time is when most people are downloading music anyway because they can expect to listen to it then and there.

Off-peak video download is less of an issue.

Allowances are viewed by most people as a veiled threat not an opportunity.
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
Andrue - just about all ISP's offer allowances of 40GB or more because they know that there is a demand for this.

Some ISP's with sufficient capacity don't give a monkeys about how much you download so for them its not an issue.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
OMG talk talk/CPW have done something right for once i say well done to them for having the nuts to stand up to the bozo BPI with their whack job ideas.
The last paragraph says it all... quote "The company makes a point to state that it does not in any way condone illegal activities, but simply disagrees that it should be the role of ISPs to act as the Internet police."
Entirely agree :) The BPI dont go ask woolworths for a list of everyone that brought a CD and then make them check nobody has infringed the copyright on it. If talk talk stick to their guns they have a new respect from me.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well, it's great to be the 'nice guy' for a while, prove you actually feel for the customers..... (words are just so easy..)
-- While those customers are STILL waiting for their modem to arrive after three months, STILL getting dialup speeds from adsl, STILL waiting for MAC, STILL waiting for money back on overcharged accounts...

I don't think THEY feel that good about it....

and then it may well get WORSE when they take up tiscali's problems.....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Yeah comnut they are not the best ISP in the world, but you have to give credit where it is due. If they stick to their guns about this decision they do deserve respect for it (even if as others have said its more down to their pockets than customers). As for Tiscali, nobody could make that whole tiscali/pipex shambles any worse, it will more than likely just stay as bad as it is, however ill judge them when it happens, people like Plusnet have made some balls ups in the past but compared to some nowadays they aint a bad provider at all, talk talk/CPW can improve.
Posted by embarkell over 8 years ago
I'd like to hear Pubs and off licences using that argument against the supply of alcohol to minors or shops using it against the alleged supply of cigarettes to minors. ISP's sell a product, they must ensure that the law is not borken when selling that product.

If an off sales chain was selling alcohol to minors we'd be up in arms. An ISP condoning, supporting or hiding illegal activity deserves no protection. Mr Dunstone is protecting his bottom line, nothing else. he and his company are not the peoples champions!

What is this? Selective law enforcement?
Posted by dopamine2 over 8 years ago
Posted by embarkell about 1 hour ago
"What is this? Selective law enforcement?"

How silly. Do you suggest then that it's the responsibility of your car's manufacturer to ensure you don't use it to commit a criminal act?

Car's are sold to you so you can use the road, internet access is sold to you so you can use the internet. The sellers have a small duty of care at the point of sale, but none thereafter.

Well done Dunstone. A victory for common sense, even if it is partially motivated by your need to protect your own profits.

Posted by diggsy over 8 years ago
"The company.....simply disagrees that it should be the role of ISPs to act as the Internet police"
ISPs are not being asked to police the internet: the BPI is asking them to act on information.
Even those ISPs that accept the need to act are concerned about taking action before their competitors do so.
Bottom line - money and PR.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. I hope all the pirates go to join Charlie in his leaky old tub.

Selective law enforcement it is - sell booze or fags to kids, rent them 18 videos or let them in the cinema, etc etc - all of these will see the service provider held responsible.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"What is this? Selective law enforcement?"

Afaik it is a clear legally established principle in UK law that ISPs are not legally responsible for the customer traffic they carry (in the same way that Royal Mail don't have to check the content of mail they carry). The MPAA/RIAA/BPI would like the ISPs' legal position to to change.

"If an off licence was selling alcohol to minors we'd be up in arms."

Have you ever tried getting that enforced? It don't work where I live.
Posted by sloppyjoe over 8 years ago
Where is it going to stop you better tell the music industry to ask microsoft, software, pc manafacture, and sony EMI,IBM and all the blank cd and dvd companys to stop aiding and abetting said individuals by supplying goods that can be used to pirate and record said music or flims from the web just put a levy on blank cds dvds also recorders then EMI Sony and all recording people including artists can get a fair share
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. I hope all the pirates go to join Charlie in his leaky old tub."

I hope all those that generalise like you stop using the net completely see we wont have to listen to you whine others want more while you are stuck in the dial-up era sending 1 email a week. Moaning at others they should be doing the same.
If you are using the net legally or not, its the laws job to catch the illegal users not some snooty record industry or an ISP. (CONT)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
The same can be said for the off licence example, that’s the laws job to make sure the owner of the said off licence is obeying the law not selling to minors.
It is not upto some faceless middleman that I guess would be the booze industry to demand the off licence shouldn’t. Its called authority... The law is at the top, bozos that flog stuff in suits... nowhere in the food chain. They have no legal right to bully anyone. Laws and the hierarchy in law is there for a reason, soon as others start thinking they are the law you have anarchy.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
@sloppyjoe..... Agree entirely, the likes of sony produce blank cds and dvds proudly boasting ideal for 'music or video' and they also make dvd players to play xvid material... The pirates choice for video, if they dont like piracy stop make stuff that helps it.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
Thank you sloppyjoe. I was going to post something about the next step being the BPI/MPAA/RIAA wanting shops to notify them every time someone buys a >500GB hard drive; there's not much legitimate use for that kind of thing is there (???). Next, ISP's usage records, folk using over 5GB a month must be doing dodgy dealings. Etc. Daftness.

Mind you as my main use of blank CDs/DVDs is mostly for data backups I'm personally not keen on a general levy :)

CPW's self-interest (minimising hassle to them) is likely behind their statement, but that doesn't mean that the BPI are in the right.
Posted by dopamine2 over 8 years ago
Posted by diggsy about 7 hours ago
"ISPs are not being asked to police the internet: the BPI is asking them to act on information."

The BPI is wrong then. If I have information that a burglar entered my house using a crowbar, I give that information to the police, not the seller of the crowbar.

The BPI are simply trying to avoid the legal costs of prosecuting pirates through the Courts.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"The BPI are simply trying to avoid the legal costs of prosecuting pirates through the Courts."

Bingo.... I think we have a winner :D
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"The BPI are simply trying to avoid the legal costs of prosecuting pirates through the Courts."

Probably true, but the papers today report that the BPI are threatening to take CPW to court unless they sign up with the BPI plan, injunctions and that kind of malarkey. That won't be cheap either (but the chances of a result for the BPI are probably better than in any criminal action the BPI might attempt).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/04/06/cncarphone106.xml
Posted by meldrew over 8 years ago
I would be more than happy to pay for downloads if there was a reasonable balance of price and quality. Have just spent quite some time searching for an old number and deciding to buy was prevented from doing so because I do not live in the USA! What a fandango.

Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
BPI should be taking anyone to court they claim is downloading and causing them losses but they dont because their evidence is likely shaky a lot of the time. CPW is right that they shouldnt be cutting people off without court orders. eg. I could contact herdwicks isp with fake logs showing he is portscanning and rooting servers from his isp account would it be right if they cut him off based on this?
Posted by discgosforth over 8 years ago
A bit like asking Ford to stop selling cars because they're used in bank robberies!

Got several clients using TalkTalk now - including my mother - and it looks like one of the better services available. Even more so when you start comparing the support lines.
Posted by Tacitus over 8 years ago
Given CPW are signed up to Phorm, I think there's a lack of joined up thinking here...
Posted by Modifiedvibes over 8 years ago
well am with AOL part of CPW.... so am happy to hear that statement, the remarkable and really funny thing is... the music and movie industries are plowing more money in this prevention than what the actual industry loss's with "illegal" sharing, ppl have been doing it for years - anybody remember getting your mate to copy a 'TAPE' they just bought lol
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
Bloomin' brilliant - fantastic response from the ISP. Nobody condones theft but the BPI thinks the status quo is ok - well it's not!
Posted by Tropi over 8 years ago
The alcohol/tobacco retailing analogy is totally off course. Retailers sell alcohol and tobacco directly to individuals and thus may be liable.

Product TRANSPORT is a totally separate operation and the haulier does NOT bear that liability.

ISP's do not sell content. They are simply bulk transporters.

The entire proposal is fundamentally WRONG.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
It's like involving the Royal Mail for the contents of envelopes.
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