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February 5, 2011

ACS:Law closes down for good

by Darren Allan
There's been another twist in the saga of ACS:Law, the solicitors who were involved in chasing alleged illegal file-sharers. And this appears to be the final act in this particular tale... It comes after the law firm announced last week that it would stop sending out threatening letters demanding up-front settlements to those accused of downloading copyrighted material. Now ACS:Law ...

January 25, 2011

ACS:Law has stopped pursuing alleged illegal downloaders

by Darren Allan
Controversial law firm ACS:Law has announced that it will stop sending out threatening letters to alleged illegal file-sharers. The move came at the Patent County Court, where ACS:Law was involved in attempting to have 27 cases of illegal file-sharing it brought discontinued. The BBC reports that Andrew Crossley, a solicitor at the outfit, issued a statement to say that ACS:Law ...

December 16, 2010

Piracy cost the UK music industry £1bn this year

by Darren Allan
The BPI's latest report on the theatre of digital music, as compiled by Harris Interactive, has highlighted a big – albeit unrealistically inflated – number at the centre of the piracy debate. The report estimates that pirated tracks accounted for three-quarters of all music downloads this year, and that this cost the industry close to £1 billion. But as the ...

December 12, 2010

ACS:Law loses first file-sharing case

by Darren Allan
ACS:Law finally took the step of taking eight people the company had alleged to have downloaded copyrighted material to court. Usually, the firm just sends out letters informing the accused of their wrongdoing, and asking for an out-of-court settlement of several hundred pounds. But in this case, they actually took the alleged offenders to court. However, Judge Birss QC dismissed ...

November 27, 2010

Co-Founders of Pirate Bay lose appeal

by Darren Allan
A Swedish appeals court has upheld the decision that three of the Co-Founders of the Pirate Bay website are indeed guilty of encouraging illegal file sharing, which they were originally convicted of last year. The case was brought by the music and film industry, and actually ended up increasing the fine levied on the architects of the Pirate Bay, ...

November 4, 2010

Ministry of Sound ditches file-sharing action

by Darren Allan
The Ministry of Sound has been forced to abandon its legal action against net users who are alleged to have downloaded copyrighted material. You may remember at the start of last month, Anonymous, the activist group which has set up in opposition to the anti-piracy lobby, downed both the record label's website and their solicitors Gallant MacMillan for quite ...

October 12, 2010

Irish judge rules against disconnecting illegal downloaders

by Darren Allan
The big music labels have lost a legal case against an Irish ISP, with the judge deciding that the provider UPC has no legal obligation to enforce a “three-strikes-and-you're-out” rule. The three strikes rule simply means that alleged illegal downloaders, those accused of sharing copyrighted music files, are given three chances before they're penalised by being disconnected from the ...

August 23, 2010

Halo: Reach now on file-sharing sites

by Darren Allan
The next instalment in the Halo series, Reach, is due out in just over three weeks time now. However, at the weekend hackers managed to crack a review copy of the code on Xbox.com to download the game. And it's already up on file-sharing sites, CVG reports. Previously the group who nabbed the copy of Halo: Reach had said that ...

July 29, 2010

A fifth of Facebook user names “leaked” to file-sharers

by Darren Allan
The latest privacy furore regarding Facebook – there's always something going down in that department – involves a huge list of user names being put up on BitTorrent. The Guardian reports that Canadian security expert Ron Bowes downloaded the near-3GB worth of data as part of a project he was working on. In actual fact, the information is legitimately available ...

July 22, 2010

Ofcom file-sharing code not up to scratch says ORG

by Darren Allan
The Open Rights Group (ORG) has been busy poring over Ofcom's draft code which is aimed at reducing the amount of illegal file-sharing going on in the country. And the group's conclusion is that it will be asking Ofcom to go back to the drawing board, as the code doesn't comply with the Digital Economy Act (a rushed through ...

May 31, 2010

Lawyers want file sharers to confess

by David Allen
In the past law firms like Davenport Lyons have tried alleged bullying tactics to scare internet users into paying up for alleged illegal file sharing offences, but now it appears that another firm, ACS Law is trying another route. The idea is that the firm sends a broadband user a questionnaire with a letter that states that the user’s ...

April 14, 2010

Ofcom to bring in pirates appeal process

by David Allen
The media regulator Ofcom will be asking the government to put in place some sort of appeal process for those internet users accused of illegal file sharing or downloading illegal material. The process, according to Ofcom, will have to be robust so that it can be used before the user is cut off or temporarily blocked from using the ...

March 19, 2010

O2 speaks out against file-sharing accusations

by Darren Allan
O2 is the latest company to criticise the practice of sending out threatening legal letters to alleged illegal downloaders. The latest spark in this row centres on firm ACS:Law, which specialises in chasing on behalf of intellectual property rights holders, in this case an anti-piracy company called DigiProtect. Letters have been sent out ...

February 24, 2010

Government appears to u-turn on cutting off file-sharers

by Darren Allan
The government has spoken out about its plans to forcibly disconnect illegal file-sharers. The move comes in response to an online petition which asked the government to scrap Lord Mandelson's scheme, whereby individuals could be banned from the net due to using peer-to-peer file-sharing applications. The petition cited privacy issues, and the innocent-until-proven-guilty attitude the proposed legislation would take. As ...

January 21, 2010

IFPI says piracy still damaging music sales

by Darren Allan
Music industry body the IFPI has published its digital music report for 2010. It says that despite moves to counter online music piracy – via legislation in some countries, and new distribution models such as the streaming music service Spotify – overall global music sales are still down from 2004 by some 30%. Although more positively, when it came to ...

January 15, 2010

Oink founder not guilty of having snout in fraud trough

by Darren Allan
The man accused of milking the music industry by allowing users to illegally download music files through his website Oink has been cleared of conspiracy to defraud. Alan Ellis said that he did not host any of the copyrighted files, but merely facilitated the sharing of them between members of the Oink site. And a jury agreed he hadn't done ...

November 3, 2009

Pirate Bay closure fails to make an impact

by Darren Allan
A report from security specialist McAfee reckons that the number of illegal file sharing sites has shot up since The Pirate Bay was shut down. Pirate Bay, a notorious source of illegal downloads, was closed down by Swedish authorities in August. Since then, fairly predictably, there has been a 300% increase in the ...

October 29, 2009

TalkTalk will resist government file sharing crackdown

by Darren Allan
TalkTalk has taken a further step in its ongoing campaign against Mandelson's file sharing crackdown with a statement of resistance on its blog page. The ISP said it was “dismayed” at the government pushing ahead with its three-strikes-and-you're-out policy, which will see persistent illegal downloaders disconnected from the net. The problem that TalkTalk (and many other campaigners) have is the ...

October 28, 2009

Government sets 2011 date for file sharing crackdown

by Darren Allan
Lord Mandelson has set out the government's stall regarding plans to deal with illegal file sharers using a 'three-strikes-and-you're-out' policy. The Business Secretary said that legislation would be introduced in April 2010, with measures to disconnect persistent offenders coming into force in July 2011. Unless the level of file sharing in the year up until April 2011 drops by ...

October 20, 2009

Public rejects government file sharing crackdown

by Darren Allan
After TalkTalk's attack on the government's plans to cut off illegal file sharers last week, a YouGov poll has shown the overwhelming majority of the public are against a “guilty-until-proven-innocent” stance. The poll showed that 70% of respondents don't support the plans to disconnect those suspected of illegally distributing files online. Only 16% were in favour of automatically imposing Internet ...

October 16, 2009

TalkTalk attacks government file sharing crackdown

by Darren Allan
TalkTalk has run some wi-fi tests in an effort to expose the naivety of the government's proposed plans to tackle illegal file sharers. The plans the government is considering would see repeatedly offending downloaders cut off from the Internet. But as TalkTalk pointed out with its little stunt, it might not only be the big bad pirates who suffer disconnection. The ...

October 7, 2009

O2 applies the brakes on file sharers

by David Allen
The internet service provider O2 has introduced a new traffic management system that comes into effect immediately and runs from 8pm to 11 pm every day. However, this plan is not for all O2 customers as it only applies to those users on the O2 Home Access Broadband Package. Customers using the standard, ...

July 10, 2009

Government to go soft on pirates

by David Allen
It would seem that the government has made a U-turn over the pledge it made to cut internet piracy over the next couple of years. It was only last year that the government laid out plans to cut internet piracy by around seventy per cent by 2010. According to the Times, the culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, has revised the original ...

July 1, 2009

Good response to Virgin Media’s anti piracy plan

by David Allen
The cable broadband and TV provider Virgin Media’s new anti piracy plan has been welcomed by the music industry, which will be getting involved with the company's new subscription-based music download service. The Universal Music Group has become the first major label to sign up with the new Virgin Media service, which provides DRM free Mp3 and streaming ...

June 9, 2009

TalkTalk boss wants education for pirates

by David Allen
Charles Dunstone, CEO of the Carphone Warehouse, has been speaking out about the government’s plans to stop illegal file sharing. He feels that by introducing speed humps and other traffic measures the government could be causing more trouble to occur later on down the line. He believes that it is in the ...

June 8, 2009

Pirates will not be banned just squeezed

by David Allen
It seems that the planned three strikes and you are out rule for persistent illegal file sharers, may not be coming into effect after all. Initially it was believed that the threat of disconnection for pirates was going to appear in the final Digital Britain report, which is due out next Tuesday the 16th June, but it seems that ...

June 1, 2009

Pirates cost industry £12 Billion

by David Allen
File sharing pirates are costing the industry around £12 billion per year in lost revenues on games, software, music and video, according to a government report. These figures show the extent of the issue and how the industry is failing to put an end to it. The simple solutions of writing legal letters demanding money, leading to court cases ...

April 14, 2009

France rejects three strikes rule

by David Allen
The French have been supporting the “Three Strikes” rule. This would see any internet user who has been found downloading files containing copyrighted material such as music, films or games on three occasions, kicked off the internet. Only last week the first stage of making this law was passed by the lower house. It looked as if the deal ...

April 3, 2009

Wolverine leaked, FBI investigates

by David Allen
The next film in the X Men series, “X Men Origins: Wolverine”, is in the finishing stages, yet a copy of the film which is almost complete has leaked onto the internet. The situation is being taking so seriously that the FBI has been called in to investigate how this could have happened. The film, starring Hugh Jackman, was downloaded ...

March 18, 2009

ISPs not responsible for filesharing

by David Allen
The vast majority of people in the UK believe that ISPs should not be held responsible for illegal file sharing. Four in five respondents to an ISPreview.co.uk survey thought ISP action on peer-to-peer filesharing is unnecessary. The results imply that Brits want the music industry to respond more creatively to illegal filesharing instead of getting tough on those who illegally share files. Mark ...

20% of broadband users ok with file sharing punishments

by David Allen
In a survey carried out by ispreview.co.uk it has been found that around twenty per cent of broadband users are in favour of stronger actions being taken against those users who take part in illegal p2p file sharing. Just over four per cent of those who took part in the survey were in favour of some of the more ...

March 12, 2009

Film piracy costing £614 million

by David Allen
A report by Oxford Economics has found that if the film industry introduced some simple but effective steps, it would increase revenue by around £614 million per year and protect jobs throughout the industry. Nevertheless these steps, which include introducing tighter controls at car boot sales, the banning of video cameras in cinemas and fighting against illegal file sharing, ...

January 26, 2009

Virgin Media’s P2P plans shelved

by David Allen
Has Virgin Media caved in to pressure from the big players in the music industry, by shelving its plans to introduce a fully legal and above board music sharing service for their customers? Virgin Music Unlimited was due to be launched in a matter of weeks and actually represented a huge investment by the company. If it had matured into ...

UK may get broadband tax

by David Allen
The UK music and entertainment industry must have been taking notice the Isle of Man government’s plans to introduce a tax, in an attempt to satisfy all parties with regards to the downloading of music. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) estimates that around forty billion illegal music files were shared during 2008. They are proposing that ...

December 18, 2008

Big names speak out against piracy

by David Allen
Famous names from the world of films and TV are looking to the government to help them out with the piracy issue. Among the heavy hitters are Richard Curtis and Kenneth Branagh, whose names appear on a letter to the government which states that they are concerned and undermined, asking them to do something about the problem of illegal ...

December 1, 2008

Atari drop file sharing law suit

by David Allen
It seems that the little person has won a battle against the software giants and their legal eagles who have upset elderly people by demanding a payment of £500 for illegally sharing a game over the internet. Atari employed lawyers Davenport Lyons, earlier on in the year to track down illegal file sharers based in the UK and persuade ...

November 25, 2008

Lawyers want customer details from nine ISPs

by David Allen
Lawyers representing the rights holder of music tracks are looking to obtain a court order, which would make nine of the UK’s most popular internet service providers hand over details of their customers in order that the lawyers can seek compensation on the copyright holder’s behalf. Digiprotect Gesellschaft Zum Schutze Digitale Medien's lawyers have in fact begun to send ...

November 5, 2008

Music industry and ISPs agree

by David Allen
The boss of UK Music and ex Undertones lead singer, Fergal Sharkey, believes that there is likely to be some sort of agreement between the organisation that represents the music industry and the internet service providers association ISPA. This follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was agreed during the summer, when the six main ISPs, ...

October 31, 2008

Silver surfers accused of file sharing

by David Allen
It seems that you do not have to be a youngster to be accused of downloading illegal music, video or games. In fact the consumer magazine Which? is estimating that there could in fact be hundreds of households being accused incorrectly of file sharing. This is what happened to Ken and Gill Murdoch aged 54 and 66 from Inverness, ...

September 26, 2008

EU vote on file sharers

by David Allen
The long awaited vote on file sharing by the European Union members has taken place, and it would initially appear to be that they have voted against the three strikes and you are out policy. This is going to be great news for the groups who had been protesting against it. It is also going to cause problems for ...

September 22, 2008

Virgin will not disconnect pirate downloaders

by David Allen
Virgin Media has pledged that it will not disconnect customers who are found to be illegally sharing music, video or software files. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, Virgin CEO Neil Berkett said there is no legal basis to cut off users sharing copyrighted files, and the company would therefore not disconnect these customers. Berkett added that the responsibility for dealing ...

September 19, 2008

No disconnection for Virgin Media users

by David Allen
There has been a lot of scare mongering recently over the suggestions that internet services providers will disconnect any of their customers who have been found to persistently have something to do with copyright piracy. Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York, the CEO of Virgin Media, Neil Berkett said that there are no regulations or ...

July 24, 2008

Parents to be punished for kids downloading

by David Allen
Many parents claim that their kids know more about the computers and the internet, than they do. However, that excuse is not going to be tolerated for much longer as the top six ISP’s in the UK BT, BSkyB, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali and ...

July 3, 2008

Virgin Media warns customers about file-sharing

by David Allen
Virgin Media has begun working with the UK music industry to stamp out illegal file sharing. Following an announcement by the company last month, action is already being taken. Virgin Media’s broadband customers who flout copyright laws by downloading and sharing music tracks will receive a letter from music trade body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). 800 letters are being sent out this ...

File Sharers fined over pin ball game

by David Allen
The flood gates could be about to open, as in a landmark case a computer games company, Topware, has managed to win a court action against four people who uploaded a pin ball game onto an illegal file sharing website. The individuals, who did not go the hearing, were each fined £750 plus £2,000 in costs after being found ...

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 ...