High Court orders ISPs to name file-sharers

Given 14 days to comply

The UK High Court today granted the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) an order under which six UK ISPs must supply the names and addresses of 31 individuals alleged to "have uploaded large numbers of music files on to peer-to-peer filesharing networks", as a BPI press release puts it.

The ISPs have 14 days to cough up the required details. Once it has the information, the BPI will "write to the individuals concerned, setting out the details of their infringements and offering them the opportunity to settle the case before proceedings are issued".

BPI General Counsel Geoff Taylor said: "Once again the Court has accepted that BPI has evidence that filesharers in the UK are infringing copyright and has ruled that the identities of these 31 individuals should be disclosed, so that the BPI can take legal action. Today’s result is a blow for illegal uploaders who believe that the law simply does not apply to them."

Twenty-three people alleged to have distributed music illegally via peer-to-peer networks last week settled with the BPI, paying up to £4,500 each. Three cases remain unresolved, and legal action may follow.

Regarding this earlier bout of litigation, Taylor noted: "We learned from our first round of cases that people from all walks of life are engaged in this activity. We would particularly advise parents to check what their children are doing on the internet and make sure that they are not breaking the law by filesharing illegally." ®

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