Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/29/scare_letter_file_sharing/

BPI rejects scareletter approach to possible pirates

ACS:Law treads lonely path

By John Oates

Posted in Media, 29th January 2010 08:02 GMT

The tactic of using IP addresses extracted from internet service providers to send scare letters to suspected pirates is not something the British music industry would consider.

ACS:Law has made a tidy business from sending out letters to suspected file sharers offering a one-off £500 payment draw a line under further investigations. It has been used for some time by some games publishers and pornography firms.

Earlier this week Which? complained that it had been contacted by over 150 people wrongly accused of file sharing.

One letter said: “My 78 year old father yesterday received a letter from ACS law demanding £500 for a porn file he is alleged to have downloaded. He doesn’t even know what file sharing or bittorrent is so has certainly not done this himself or given anyone else permission to use his computer to do such a thing.”

The consumer organisation said rights holders should find a better way to defend their property.

The BPI seems to take a similar view.

In a statement it said: "We don't favour the approach taken by ACS:Law to tackling illegal filesharing, which is at odds with the proportionate and graduated response advocated by BPI and proposed in the Digital Economy Bill. We uphold the highest standards of evidence, and our view is that legal action is best reserved for the most persistent or serious offenders - rather than widely used as a first response." ®

We've sent questions to ACS:Law's principal Anthony Crossley but have not yet had a response. ®