Home > filesharing, internet > Virgin Media: what is your policy again?

Virgin Media: what is your policy again?

This one’s getting more convoluted than any soap opera. News broke recently that Virgin Media has done a deal with the BPI and will send warning letter to any of its customers that the BPI accuse of illegal file sharing. It appears that Virgin Media are now trying to backtrack on this, and have told the BBC that there is ‘absolutely no possibility’ of banning internet users or taking legal action. This is despite 800 users receiving letters from Virgin Media in the past month that are in envelopes labelled ‘Important. If you don’t read this, your broadband could be disconnected’. So no chance of sending conflicting messages.

From the BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat web site, ‘Virgin says it will not share the names of identified customers with the music industry body “under any circumstances.”‘ Not sure if that would be much of a legal defence for anyone the BPI decides to prosecute.

The articles at Torrentfreak and Newsbeat are well worth a read for the details of this mess, and my favourite comment has to be from Torrentfreak, which has the classic line ‘Asam Ahmad from Virgin notes that they cannot be 100% sure that the person they send the letters to has actually committed any offense at all.’ I wonder if this will have any bearing on lawyers Davenport Lyons court action against alleged Bittorrent filesharers.

I wonder how these letters are worded. Is it something like this?

Dear Sir/Madam

We believe you may be illegally sharing copyrighted material via file sharing networks such as limewire and bittorrent, we’re not really 100% sure. If you do not stop this possibly illegal activity immediately we might disconnect you from Virgin Media’s broadband service (we haven’t decided yet if that’s what we really want to do). And if the BPI ask for your details so they can prosecute you, we might comply, unless we have received a lot of negative publicity already that week.

This latest debacle comes after Virgin Media were reprimanded again by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading broadband adverts. BT made the complaint after Virgin Media claimed users on its medium broadband package could download a TV episode in less than 26 minutes, which didn’t take into account the speed cap that kicks in after 300Mb on the 2Mbit service.

Read at Newsbeat

Read at Torrentfreak

Read at PCpro

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