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Be Broadband asserts its position over illegal file sharing
Thursday 24 July 2008 15:12:59 by Andrew Ferguson

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.

Under circumstances when a Court Order is served on Be, which requires us to supply information about member activity, we will comply with the Order and pass the relevant contact information to the rights holder (and in accordance with our Privacy and cookie policy). In this case under most circumstance we will not inform the member that this has occurred as this may compromise the investigation related to the Court Order."

Oli White, Head of Marketing at Be Broadband

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.

Comments

Posted by rian over 8 years ago
It seems signing up BE* is a good choice!
Posted by uklad77 over 8 years ago
This isn't much different than for those ISPs who have signed up.

BE's customers still get notified that someone thinks they are downloading illegally

No details get passed from Be to anyone else without a court order (same as for the other ISPs)

All that is different is that they only get a letter from BE, and not a copy of the BPI letter sent by BE
Posted by BigRedBall over 8 years ago
Yeah, I think Andrew Ferguson has mis-read Be's statement.

"its customers will be notified of a third party requesting their information even if a court order is not in effect"

Be customers will ONLY be notified if no court order is in effect.
Posted by jrawle over 8 years ago
Presumably, a court order would only be obtained if (a) someone is sharing a large number of files; or (b) for repeat offenders. As the BPI don't know which user an IP address belongs to at a particular time, they don't know if it's a repeat offence. It seems it might be time for file-sharers to switch to dynamic IP.
Posted by jrawle over 8 years ago
I would like to hear the opinion of someone with legal knowledge on the statement, "we will not inform the member that this has occurred as this may compromise the investigation related to the Court Order." particularly as most cases are civil matters so it isn't as if there's a police investigation or anything.
Posted by uniquename over 8 years ago
@jrawle - it probably depends on the terms of the Court Order.

If it requests non-disclosure then to tell the user would be contempt of court, which is an imprisonable criminal offence.
Posted by PeteK over 8 years ago
@jrawle - It is a requirement for an ISP to carry a record of an IP's allocation to member at all times and historically too, so a dynamic IP won't help. Furthermore the IP's Be lease are very much un-dynamic being long term leased to the clients equipment. While there are ways around this, their record holding is to CLI (as that is the way their network maps) so they have a thorough record in any case.
Posted by bizimonki over 8 years ago
I think it will bring home the idea that downloading stuff you know is not yours, will get you into trouble. This is a good thing. Today downloading copyrighted stuff is seen to be good in the eyes of children today. We need to take a moral stance and realise the honeymoon is over and its time to start paying through the nose again.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"its time to start paying through the nose again."

Maybe it's time the artists got a fairer share of what money there is, instead of the historic setup where the corporates (the ones who pay for the BPI, right?) get the vast majority of the dosh.

Usual facts: iTunes downloads cost 79p per track.
Writer/publisher get 6p, Performer 6-8p, Visa/Mastercard 7p, Apple 12p, and Record Company almost 50p.
http://www.tomrobinson.com/records/music/index.htm
Posted by jrawle over 8 years ago
@PeteK: you miss my point. Be (and the other ISPs) won't give details of the customer to the BPI, they will simply warn the customer. So how will the BPI know who is a repeat offender? The ISP may have a record of who had a particular IP, but the BPI won't. So under what circumstances do they obtain a court order?

Hopefully companies such as Be will start to offer the option of a truly dynamic IP - some say it's better for security anyway.
Posted by bizimonki over 8 years ago
@ CJ
It is not up to the consumer to decide if the artist or performer gets his cut. It is up to adults to know the difference between right and wrong. To stand up to those who steal and say "ok that is enough". I think you miss my point, and this goes to the majority too. If they catch you red handed - you should pay the penalty. There is very little in the way of deterrance today. Glad to see something appearing for a change that will make a difference to the younger generation.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
bizi, the record companies are dreaming if they think people will suddenly start buying more music as a result of this, they will either move to other forms of piracy or simply listen to less music. cj is quite right the artists make pittance out of cd sales compared to the record companies.
Posted by imbsuk over 8 years ago
No one is going to respect the music industry's argument on moral grounds when they rip off their own artists and customers. People might have been willing to download legally if the price was fair, perhaps 30p per track, 3£ per album with a fair proportion going to the performers/composers. The music industry has shot itself in the foot because their rip off high prices have ensured that there's now a culture of downloading music illegally.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
if the artists are getting such a bad deal (Sting has N houses, so I remain unconvinced) they can use alternative distribution channels like the band that appeared on Dragon's Den.

A local band I know won't try to sell their music online because the lead singer says "some scouser will rip it off and put it on P2P" so piracy is impairing the distribution of music in some cases and depriving bands of income.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"It is not up to the consumer to decide if the artist or performer gets his cut."

In a fair market, a consumer makes an informed decision before buying a product (or NOT buying it). Currently most folks don't realise how much the corporates get and how little trickles down to the artist(s). Punters that do realise, tend not to be happy with it. Can the corporates justify their massive rake-off, or are they "stealing" from the artists too?
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"To stand up to those who steal"

For clarity: I'm in favour of putting criminals through the courts, including those who steal, and those who lie to start illegal wars.

But here's a thought:
How many UK folks paid full price (£10ish?) for McCartney's latest CD?
How many folks paid £2 for McCartney's latest CD "free" with the Mail on Sunday?
Anyone think the sales would be higher at £2 than £10? Now Macca's not that good an example (ditto Prince etc), as he's well known and not short of a couple of quid, but it does show what can be done when the corporate middlemen are out of the picture.
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
@herdwick. That's just it though, the current model ensures only the clan gets paid. Digital downloads remove much of the costs fat cats charge their clients - but these benefits are not being passed on in fact it's going the other way by restricting public access to services and hence the reaction to it.
Posted by darkmast2 over 8 years ago
"A local band I know won't try to sell their music online because the lead singer says "some scouser will rip it off and put it on P2P" so piracy is impairing the distribution of music in some cases and depriving bands of income."

Even through other means someone will still rip the cd/dvd/whatever and upload it.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
That local band will be ripped of much more by their *manager*!!! - And if they have a record deal, that company will take even more!

This is why many bands are managing themselves..
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
herdwick - your local band's nuts. Local bands make the cash from live gigs, and the best way to fill those is to build a following using the internet. All sharing does is draw more people.

The ethical thing to do with the labels is, as I do, refuse to consume their product.
Posted by Kempy over 8 years ago
Bbought my first album when I was 12 years old. At that time it would have cost me about a fiver. A quick calculation:-
Allowing for 4.5% inflation - £5, 40 years ago equates to £27.82 today. So my £9.99 CD looks pretty good value to me in real terms. I say Pay the measly 79p download fee and stop pretending illegal file sharing is a principled stand against high prices.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
herdwick they are indeed starting to do that, radiohead and others are moving to alternative distribution and publishing.
Posted by Youngy over 8 years ago
Surely this will just drive p2p folk towards NNTP. A service largely ignored by BPI etc with no uploading/sharing requirements. With all this torrent exposure SSL and PeerGuardian will grow too.
Posted by larrychameleon over 8 years ago
@darkmast2
"A local band I know won't try to sell their music online because the lead singer says "some scouser will rip it off and put it on P2P" so piracy is impairing the distribution of music in some cases and depriving bands of income."

Then that lead singer is an absolute idiot & in a couple of years nobody will remember them because of his incompetant & ridiculous ideas about how to promote his band.

A scouser
Posted by ian9outof10 over 8 years ago
"Pay the measly 79p download fee and stop pretending illegal file sharing is a principled stand against high prices."

You might think it's measly, until you have to re-buy your whole digital music collection because Microsoft or Yahoo! decide to shut down their DRM servers, at which point you have to pay for it all again.

DRM is evil, if any artist wants my money, all they have to do is make some good music, stick it on their website and charge a fair price for the MP3.
Posted by timmorris over 8 years ago
Given that you can buy a CD online for £7.50 they are really cheap compared to the price that those of us in our forties used to pay. CDs were £13 a pop in the eighties.

If you don't like DRM then buy the CD and rip it yourself using EAC. You never know you might actually get to hear what high quality digital music sounds like.
Posted by blacksock over 8 years ago
most people seem to be well p***d off with the digital rights people so it becomes a game of cat and mouse,
in the end people will put there whole record collection
on a usb stick and sell it on ebay,how will they stop that???
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
By getting ebay to remove the auction, and/or pursuing people remember to sell on ebay you must be registered.
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