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BTopenworld this week began firing off warning letters to customers fingered for sharing illegal copies of Windows source code across P2P networks.

Users who continue to share the purloined source code are in violation of BTo's acceptable use policy and risk having their connection cut off, the broadband operator warns.

Following news last month that portions of Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 source code were illegally leaked onto the Web, Microsoft said it would send letters pointing out the illegality of sharing this source code to anyone who had already downloaded it. It also announced that it would post alerts on P2P networks to further discourage anyone tempted to sneak a peek at its 'Crown jewels' software code.

BTopenworld's letters (example below) carry much the same message.

Nick Truman, head of Internet Security at BT Retail, said the letters were in response to "substantiated complaints" about the misuse of its service to share Windows source code. He isn't saying who complained or how many letters it has sent out. But he provides some reassurance that BTo was taking care not to falsely accuse anyone of sharing illegal content.

"If and when we receive substantiated complaint that one of our services is being used in contravention of the Terms and Conditions of use, we will send out a warning to that user. The number we send out is dependant on the number of substantiated complaints," he explained.

"A complaint must have a valid date/time and IP address and contain some evidential quality info that shows what is happening." ®

Dear Mr X

It has come to our attention that your BT Openworld account has been used for offering the distribution of unauthorised copyright material. We have received information that one of our users as identified by the SITE/URL x.x.x.x may have engaged in the unlawful distribution of Microsoft's source code for Windows 2000, and/or Windows NT4, by distributing and offering for download these source code files via a peer-to-peer network.

This contravenes BT’s Acceptable Use Policy and that, as a result, you are in breach of your contract with us for the provision of BT Openworld internet.

We ask you to stop this activity immediately to avoid us having to suspend your account. Any future repetition of this, or similar activities, may lead to your account being suspended.

Please note that, should your account be closed as a result of contravention of BT’s Acceptable Use Policy, you will still have to pay any sums owing under the terms of your contract with BTopenworld.

If you have any questions or do not understand why you have received this email, please do not hesitate to contact us quoting reference number ------.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

xxxx
BT Acceptable Use Team
www.btopenworld.com



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