People who are downloading music, films and software illegally won’t be sent a warning letter from their ISPs until 2015 at the earliest.
The new controversial system is part of the Digital Economy Act, which will force ISPs to send people letters informing them they have been caught downloading illegally copyrighted content.
Anyone who receives three letters in a year will have their details added to a list; copyright holders, such as film companies, record labels and software companies, can then get a court order and force ISP to hand over customers details so they can take legal action.
But the new ‘three-strikes’ system has been dogged by delays after legal challenges from BT and TalkTalk, the government said it was originally planned for 2011, but will not be introduced before the end of 2015.
The government has also said that “technical changes” were being made to legislation on who will pay for sending out letters to copyright infringers.
ISPs have expressed alarm at the potential costs they will incur for complying with orders from copyright holders.
The Department for Culture Medial and Sport said the delays were “regrettable”.
The Internet Service Providers Association, which represents Internet companies in the UK, said the legislation was “rushed” and had not been subject to “sufficient scrutiny”. It’s once again called on film, music, software and entertainment companies to “embrace the benefits of the internet” and create better fully licensed legal services rather then pursuing lawsuits.
ISPs Now Want to “Educate” You to Stop Downloading Illegally
ISP’s Now Want To “Educate” You to Stop Downloading Illegally
Most of the big broadband providers are going to start sending out “educational” letters to there customers who are downloading films, music, software and television programs illegally.
Sky, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have teamed up with copyright holders like the Phonographic Industry, to form the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (VCAP). Regulators will send up to four letters to households where they have been shown downloading illegally. With each successive letter the household receives will be written in increasingly severe language, the letters will warn the household the effects that digital piracy is having and how it is damaging the companies making the products.
The aim of the letters is to make people think about their illegal actions and the effects it is having, but there will be no criminal punishment for repeat offenders who just ignore the letters. The VCAP scheme is a softer approach to the Digital Economy Act, which was passed in 2010. The act proposed that people downloading illegal should have their Internet connection slowed down or even terminated.
ISP should also block all sites associated with piracy. At this time, it only been partially implemented, due to strong opposition from the ISPs.
ISPs can track illegal downloading by monitoring traffic on file-sharing sites; they then match copyright-infringement reports with their customers IP address. ISPs can’t reveal the identity of someone that is caught downloading because an IP address can only be tracked to a household and not an individual. The VCAP scheme is 75% funded by the entertainment industry and copyright holders, and the rest coming from the four major ISPs. More are expected to join the scheme soon. ISPs have a total of 2.5 million letters to send out.
BT, Virgin and Sky have all outlined their support for the scheme. A BT spokesman said the company is “committed to supporting the UK’s creative industries by helping to tackle the problem of online piracy while ensuring the best possible experience for its customers”.
UK’s biggest Internet service providers must block sites to stop illegal downloading
The High Court has ordered BT, Sky and Virgin Media to block three more file-sharing websites in order to try and stop illegal downloading.
The UK’s biggest internet providers must stop users from accessing the following file-sharing sites: Fenopy, h33t and Kickass Torrents. Copyright holders are becoming increasingly aggressive in their attempts to shut down the file-sharing websites.
Online freedom campaigners said the blocks are “an extreme response” to illegal downloading.
Previously the High Court has ordered The Pirate Bay and Newzbin2 which were major players in file-sharing to be blocked. However the impact of this is questionable. Figures from then British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which brought the blocking cases to High Court, shows illegal downloading is still popular.
In the first half of 2012, 345 million music tracks were illegally downloaded through file-sharing service Bit Torrent.
By comparison, combined sales from places like iTunes, Amazon etc.… for the same period totaled 329 million. The BPI admitted the number of illegal downloads would be higher if other websites and services were taken in to account.
Court-ordered blocks on file-sharing sites have been shown to be ineffective. Several websites make it possible to dodge the blocks by using a proxy, which allows users to surf the web anonymously.
Do you think blocking file-sharing sites will work to stop illegal downloading?