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Virgin Internet to trial piracy tracking in UK

updated 02:10 pm EDT, Mon March 31, 2008

Virgin Piracy Filter Trial

Virgin Media today said it will be the first Internet provider to experiment with actively combat pirated content distributed across its network. The UK broadband firm has agreed to a test project that will scan for illegal copies of music and other media across the service. The monitoring will follow a three-strike rule that will see users receive a letter for a first violation; a second violation will result in a temporary suspension of Internet access, while a third will force the customer to cancel their service altogether.

The trial is being done at the behest of the British Phonographic Industry and will let the BPI perform the scans and trace them to individual Internet connections. Virgin is expected only to take part in the deal by relaying account information and halting service when necessary.

Virgin's move comes after pressure by the BPI and the UK government to institute a voluntary anti-piracy system. British officials have previously warned that they may impose anti-piracy filtering laws in response to what they have alleged is the destruction of the UK music industry by unchecked copying.

Arguments by the government are believed to come after prompts by the BPI, its international equivalent, and other music and movie groups that insist constant monitoring is necessary to protect copyrights. Critics have responded by labeling the scans an invasion of privacy and unlikely to succeed against determined pirates, who can modify or encrypt files to avoid superficial scans.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. zaghahzag

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2006

    0

    wow

    If my isp started eavesdropping on what files are on my computer, i'd switch ISPs. if they all did it, i'd probably start only going online from free wifi. Its abhorrent that they'd be poking around on their users' machines.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    0

    Disgusting

    It's disgusting to see ISPs in bed with the content distributors like this. Let's hope this c*** stays in Britain, where the people apparently just can't get enough supervision.

  1. koolkid1976

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2003

    0

    re: distusting

    You've heard of Virgin Records right? Obviously this Virgin Media ISP has some vested interest as well.

  1. bhuot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003

    0

    false positives

    How are they going to know for use if it is stolen? Are they going to claim any work that mentions the name of any motion picture or song owned by big corporations or by file sizes? So what happens with false positives - when they think someone has stolen something but they really haven't. Do we go to prison anyway.

  1. Andy Capp

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    Virgin to wave goodbye

    What would you do with a whopping great connection if you can't use it, pay for it? I think not. Why would anyone pay for something that is absolutely no use at all.

    This is gonna hit Virgin hard in the pocket. Personally, if this goes ahead, I'm gonna take all my business to Talk Talk. Their phone is cheaper, most of the calls are free and best of all their Internet is free of charge. Ok, there is a 40gig download limit but hey, who cares when you can't download.

    Virgin have said that they will inform all customers before this trail takes place, I guess this will be in the same letter where they state they were gonna cut users bandwidth when downloading at peak times, a letter that was never sent.

    Virgin needs to think about how this move will affect their business and their customers alike. Cool move, NOT

  1. Andy Capp

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    Re: Wave Goodbye

    PS

    When I spoke to Virgin customer services and asked them to mail me a copy of their Traffic Management policy, the opperator put the phone down on me. Nice Touch

  1. kyleharry

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    virgin records

    Virgin Records is wholly owned my EMI and only pay (what is probably a tiny) brand license fee to Virgin Group.

    As the for hypocrisy of the statement about British people loving supervision I'll not dignify with further comment.

  1. Grrr

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jun 2001

    0

    Oh dear...

    I have a Virgin Cable service and I am kind of stuck with them because I can't get a reliable or fast enough ADSL service here.

    Not that I download anything suspect of course ;) But I do resent being snooped on..

    Still, there is always encryption, right?

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005

    0

    Andy

    Well Andy, perhaps you could use that connection for, ooh, legitimate purposes??? I find between iPlayer and eMusic and having two computers sharing the same connection there are plenty of reasons to keep broadband over a 56k dial-up.

    And there's never any catches to free service, right?

  1. Andy Capp

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    0

    Sure there are

    The only catch with Talk Talk is the 40 gig download limit. This sucks and is the last straw as far as virgin go, I see no reason to pay Virgin far more than I would have to pay elsewhere, for what is now a limited service and a complete invasion of privacy. Our internet was sold to us as an un-limited package, which it is quite clearly not.

    I’m not gonna get into the rights and wrongs of P2P but I will say this. Even if you are on a legal download site, downloading during peek time “4pm until 9pm” you are still gonna fall foul to their “Traffic Management Policy” and you internet speed will be cut accordingly.

    If this policy is taken on by ALL ISP’s then they should expect loss of revenue, plain and simple…

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