A key part of the news of a memorandum of understanding between the BPI and the six largest UK broadband providers is that it covers such a large swathe of the UK broadband public. One of the smaller providers not signed up is Be Broadband who have been supplying ADSL2+ services since 2005.
"Be welcomes today’s announcement form the BPI that ISPs should engage in communicating the issue of illegal file-sharing to their customers. As Be grows its member base we are getting an increasing number of requests from 3rd parties for information about members who they believe have infringed their copyright or other intellectual property rights. Be has a policy of making it clear to our members of how Be* deals with these requests.
Where a content owner (like a record label or a games company) approaches Be and requests the details of a member because of an alleged copyright infringement we will not supply this information direct to the requester unless they have a Court Order. To keep members informed of what’s going on in most circumstances we will try to contact the member in question to make them aware that we have had a request from the rights holder.
So while Be Broadband is not signed up to the memorandum, its customers will be notified of a third party requesting their information even if a court order is not in effect. The important point to note is that customer information will only be passed back to a third party when a Court Order is served on Be. Similar tactics of course may emerge from other providers who have not signed up to the memorandum.