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June 27, 2008

BT to cut off file sharers


by David Allen

BT look as if they are following the lead set by Virgin Media when it comes to file sharing, as they recently sent an email to one of their four million broadband subscribers, informing them that they had been flagged up as having been part of a file sharing programme, where the Girls Aloud song “Biology” had been shared.

This email was backed up by evidence from the BPI, that the user has a file sharing programme which can be used on either the BitTorrent or Gnutella networks.

Although it is not known what policy BT is using, we know that Virgin Media operate a three strikes policy.

The customer was warned about this and if they continue the account will be cut off.

BT maintains that collecting this sort evidence does not require them to snoop around the user’s internet activity.

This is because the BPI provides the evidence, which is an IP address, and BT do the rest.

But once flagged up BT are likely to examine the account more thoroughly and should there be more evidence of file sharing, then further action could be taken, including legal as well as being cut off.

Story link: BT to cut off file sharers


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1 Comment »
  1. I can read this article in two ways:
    1) They took part in sharing/downloading that music file
    2) They just had a bittorrent or Gnutella program running.

    1 is unlikely, because not every fourth internet user will have downloaded that song.

    And if 2 is the case, BT should be sued to its knees.

    Having a Gnutella program is not illegal, and blocking access to Gnutella means vastly reduced service.

    It’s as if they’d take away your flat, because someone saw you using a kitchen knife.

    The same is true for BitTorrent which for example gets used by millions of people to download GNU/Linux distributions without creating too much traffic on the servers.

    It’s what you do with your tool that might be illegal, but having the tool is perfectly legal, and when BT blocks it, they are unduly worsening the service for their customers.

    Best wishes,
    Arne

    Comment by Arne Babenhauserheide — June 28, 2008 @ 12:48 am

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