BT starts threatening music downloaders with internet cut-off
BPI wins another ISP ally
I have received a complaint regarding one of our customers offering copyrighted material over the internet. On investigation, I have found that your account was used to make this offer.
This activity must stop immediately.
Sorry, but we're obliged to point out that further similar problems may have to lead to the termination of your account, as such activity contravenes BT's Acceptable Use Policy. 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 us.
Please find below a copy of the Takedown Notice which we have been asked to forward to you from the BPI.
BT ASDL No: [redacted]
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT USING PEER-TO-PEER NETWORKS
This letter is being forwarded to you by BT. You should read it carefully.
The BPI is the UK recorded music industry's trade association. The BPI protects and promotes British music and represents the interests of British record companies that together account for 90% of recorded music output in the United Kingdom. More information on the BPI can be found on the BPI's website: www.bpi.co.uk. The BPI also acts on behalf of the musical performers and record companies that are members of Phonographic Performance Limited ("PPL").
The BPI has established that the internet connection provided to you by BT has been used to infringe copyrights that are owned or controlled by the members of BPI and PPL.
This letter sets out:
(i) the evidence that the BPI has identified in relation to your internet connection;
(ii) the rights that have been infringed (i.e. why it is illegal) via your internet connection; and
(iii) what the BPI requires you to do now.
The evidence that BPI has identified
The BPI's evidence shows that a peer-to-peer application has been installed on a computer using your internet connection. Sound recordings have been copied and stored in the "shared files directory" of that computer. That directory is now accessible to other users of the peer-to-peer application. The sound recordings in that directory have then been made available to other members of the public via your internet connection. This is an infringement of the copyright in those sound recordings.
Copyright law provides that sound recordings cannot be communicated to the public without permission.
The BPI has confirmed to us that no record company member of BPI or PPL has given permission to an individual to communicate sound recordings to the public via the peer-to-peer network that has been operated using your internet connection.
The BPI has identified your IP address. The exact time and date upon which recordings were downloaded from a computer connected to the internet using your internet connection has also been recorded.
The BPI has notified BT of this information and they have agreed to write to you.
At present, the BPI has not obtained details of your identity and address but is entitled to apply to Court for disclosure of those details, if it wishes to do so. The BPI may then bring legal proceedings against you for infringement of copyright, as it has done against other individuals whose internet connections have been used in a similar way to infringe copyright.
Equally, we would draw your attention to our Acceptable Use Policy which states:
"As an Internet user, whilst connected to the Internet via BT you must comply with the relevant laws that apply in the UK."
"These are some of the things that you must not do whilst connected to the Internet:
You must not infringe the rights of others, including the right of privacy and copyright (an example would be sharing without permission of the copyright owner protected material such as a music or video file).
Many of these activities could result in legal action, a fine or a term of imprisonment or both."
BT views any such matters very seriously. We draw your attention to the following:
"Responses to Violations:
"Violations of this Policy may result in: A demand for immediate removal of offending material, immediate temporary or permanent filtering, blocked access, suspension or termination of service, or other response appropriate to the violation
When appropriate, we allow a defined period of notice during which violations may be addressed voluntarily. However, we reserve the right to act without notice."
What you should do now
The BPI requires you to take immediate steps to ensure that your internet connection is not used to infringe copyright. It is recommended in particular that you:
1. Remove any P2P filesharing software from any computer(s) that connect to your BT internet service. Common filesharing programmes include Limewire, DirectConnect (DC++), eDonkey/eMule and Soulseek. A free piece of software called Digital File Check (which is available from http://www.ifpi.org/dfc/downloads/dfc.html) can be used to help you verify whether P2P filesharing software is installed on a computer.
2. Ensure that members of your household (and any other persons having access to your BT internet service) are aware of this letter and that you take appropriate steps to ensure that your internet connection is not used to infringe copyright.
3. Ensure that any wireless router connected to your internet connection is securely protected using encryption and password access.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your internet connection is not used to infringe copyright or otherwise to breach the terms and conditions of your BT internet connection. If you have any questions about how to ensure your internet connection is not used to infringe copyright, please send an email to email@example.com and someone from the BPI will contact you.
BPI will monitor for further infringements of copyright and, if further evidence is obtained of infringement via your internet connection, then further action is likely to be taken against you. That action may include litigation against you, as well as the suspension by BT of your internet connection.
For the avoidance of doubt, all rights of the members of BPI and PPL are hereby expressly reserved.
The file or files in question are as follows
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further assistance.
Thank you for your attention, [redacted].
BT Customer Security Team
BT is a founding member of the Internet Watch Foundation, ISP Abuse Management Forum and the Internet Content Rating Association.
This electronic message contains information from the BT Customer Security Team, which may be privileged and confidential. The information is intended for use only by the individuals or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this message in error please notify BT by email immediately.
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