Feeds

Tiscali and BPI go to war over 'three strikes' payments

Filesharing shambles revealed as 'deal' collapses

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Exclusive Tiscali, the UK's fourth largest broadband provider, implemented a "three strikes" arrangement with the record industry to disconnect illegal filesharers last summer, The Register can reveal.

But over a matter of hours yesterday any deal that Tiscali thought it had made with the BPI evaporated in a row over money.

Relations between the pair are in disarray as they battle over who should cover the costs of sending warning letters to peer to peer users and then disconnect persistent copyright infringers. The system the two-million-customer ISP believed it had agreed with the BPI is the same one that the government is pushing all ISPs to enforce.

It had been thought that the dialogue between the BPI and Tiscali would serve as a model for the rest of the internet industry, which is threatened with legislation if it does not come to a voluntary agreement to act against copyright infringement. The issue hit the mainstream at the beginning of this week, when leaked documents confirmed Westminster's plans to bring in new laws.

Last summer, the BPI sent Tiscali a list of 21 IP addresses it identified as having engaged in illegal peer to peer filesharing. Warning letters were sent out, and eventually four customer accounts were shut down.

That Tiscali became the first ISP to attempt this kind of deal with the record industry is not surprising. The pair had been in negotiation since a stand-off over 17 filesharers in 2006. At the time, Tiscali refused to hand personal details to the BPI without a court order, saying it had failed to provide any evidence. The three strikes system they subsequently developed does not require any personal information to be handed over, as the ISP acts as enforcer rather than the courts.

A Tiscali spokeswoman said late on Thursday: "The BPI led us to believe we had concluded an agreement to implement their preferred process in October last year, which not only demonstrated joint leadership in this area but also that both of our industries could work together to tackle this issue."

In a statement however, the BPI told The Register: "We are pleased that Tiscali agrees that our three step proposal is an appropriate way to begin dealing with the problem.

"While there have been discussions between BPI and Tiscali, we have not been able to reach agreement on a long term solution. That's because Tiscali is trying to force us to pay a substantial levy to enforce its own terms and conditions.

"Discouraging customers from using their accounts unlawfully is an obligation that any ISP should bear as part of its core business. That is the socially responsible thing to do, and it's disappointing if Tiscali sees illegal behaviour on its network as a further opportunity to make money at the expense of the music community."

Tiscali replied: "We certainly take our responsibilities very seriously and have never sought to make money out of this process. We are very disappointed with the BPI's response and we will of course continue our conversations with them."

The question of who will pay for a three strikes process seems a major stumbling block for the broader negotiations between ISPs and the BPI. The ISP Association (ISPA) said on Tuesday its members want money to indemnify them against court cases.

Tiscali had said it was satisfied that giving people two chances to stop sharing music illegally means wrongful disconnections are highly unlikely. The payments it thought it had agreed with the BPI covered cost of warnings and disconnections, it said.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.