Virgin and BPI warn illegal downloaders

Virgin Media and the British Phonographic Institute (BPI) are to send warning letters to customers they believe are downloading or distributing music illegally. The announcement represents the first such public deal between the BPI and an ISP.

The pair hope that the new campaign will avoid users risking disconnection and possible legal action. "Virgin Media's fibre optic broadband is a great platform for people who want to download lots of music," said Virgin Media in a statement. "But we want them to do so without infringing the rights of musicians and music companies."

Customers whose accounts appear to have been used to distribute music in breach of copyright will receive "informative letters" from Virgin Media and the BPI.

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Typical Branson sitting in his hot air balloon on his laptop with nothing else to do but to look through his database, banning heavy users and increasing train fares.

Can you blame him? its lonely floating around up there.


Freedom of the internet ?, they haven't messed up at all. You people are so bloody complacent downloading your music for free, you think it's your right to have it.

Virgin Media are following the law, they don't have a choice. You really think they can just turn around and say "actually, no. We'll let them carry on downloading". They'll incur heavy fines if they don't take action then how the hell do you think they'll ever be able to afford to upgrade the network? They're in debt as it is. I'm sure they could do without the hassle.

Really, moan about Virgin. Go move to another ISP, I'm sure you'll be having a far superior experience with BT.

Oh, so that must be why VM supply thier own Binary Newsserver complete with copyrighted stuff to download at will.....is it???

(artnada said @ #2)
Oh, so that must be why VM supply thier own Binary Newsserver complete with copyrighted stuff to download at will.....is it???


That is very ironic, VM should remove the illegal content from the NNTP service they advertise before bitching about what we do, they are just as bad in this case for providing the content.

The BPI hopes that repeat offenders who have been given several warnings will have their accounts disconnected, followed by possible legal action.

so your allowed to download illegally once but only if you repeat the "so called offense"?! what about the possibility that one lost sale? you would think if they could prove even one lost sale that thats theft, what?, don't they really care? no!

VM are the worst ISP (well....) ever!

bring back blueyonder!!

Sadly where I live in Farnborough I can only get 1Mbps ADSL and nothing else, so Virgin Media is the only choice I have.

I have a local caching server to try and ease matters so that's all I can do until I get round to moving out and get a flat to my self.

So much for freedom on the internet. Virgin have really messed up since they took over blueyonder "no limits" even though they limit your bandwidth "the uks fastest broadband" hows that even so if they limit the speed? theyre now using phorm to spy on your internet habbits and now theyre spying on what youre downloading too? this ISP is now a joke

wait are they going to send out letters just warning you, or are they going to send out letters warning that you are going to be fined?

The people who download music illagally I think if they send out letters to them the first time saying "don't do it again or be sorry" or something like I think users will obey that more and not get quite as angry, then getting a letter and saying your fine this much money.

Plus I never knew virgin media has a internet service.

(Scutley said @ #14)
Plus I never knew virgin media has a internet service.


They're not, they supply a cable to your house and sell it as a internet service, but they're so sh*t you don't get much access to the internet.
Virgin Media is run by a bunch of c*nts.

Hopefully if I download enough illegal music, virgin media will cancel my contract. I really have had enough of this piece of **** company.

First the Letters for high volume downloaders and now this all in a week.
The Legal Side does not bother me, it's the fact that Virgin seem to be playing Big Brother, and as far as I can see it's to reduce their bandwidth.
Think of all of those users with badly configured Bittorrent clients using up all of their bandwidth for extended periods.

I can just imagine the board meeting that spawned these ideas. Letters and throttling for the big users. Eventual disconnection for the naughty downloaders.

Virgin are also a record company. Easier to set something like this up than to leave the door open on getting sued.

Virgin Records and Virgin Media are (as far as I know) completely different companies, they're just under the same brand name and owner Branson's ownership.

Yet another thing that has absolutely no impact on people who stay within the boundaries of the law and morals.

Not "news" for some of us

Right, you just keep surrendering your freedoms one by one in the name of unjust corporate sponsored laws until they come up with one that reaches you. The rest of us are going to raise holy hell so that this sort of big business fascism in the name of monopoly profiteering never gets that far.

EFF FTW.

PS You're welcome, ingrate.

i think this poem is appropriate:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Because having laws to stop people ripping of music is anything like killing people.

Richard Hammond or whoever you are your post is idiotic, I will leave you with the words of Graham Coxon.

People of the earth, your world is crap
You ain't even on the universe map
People of the earth, you do not rock
You are nothing but a fluffy flock
People of the earth, you have failed
You still worship The Sun and The Daily Mail

(C_Guy said @ #9)
Yet another thing that has absolutely no impact on people who stay within the boundaries of the law and morals.

Not "news" for some of us ;)

actually it still does one way or another, to state that an action has no "direct" impact on you is more accurate, but it still has a indirect impact to everyone. Anyway, cut the "i'm the perfect citizen who never does wrong" bs, or cast the first stone

(|Rapture| said @ #9.3)
Because having laws to stop people ripping of music is anything like killing people.

well, riaa seems to act like ripping music is like an attempt on the president

(excalpius said @ #9.1)
The rest of us are going to raise holy hell so that this sort of big business fascism in the name of monopoly profiteering never gets that far.

lol Have you listened to yourself? The caped-crusader, you most certainly are not.

Raise holy-hell? Really, what are you going to do? Give up your ISP subscription? Please, be my guest. You're not going to "raise holy hell" at all. You're going to sit in forums whinging like a baby about how unfair life is, especially when you can't get what you want for free.

For the record, real rebels don't usually feel a need to announce that they are rebels.

Man oh man, it just keeps getting better and better in the UK, doesn't it.

And so I face the wall
turn my back against it all.

Downloading dvd's or whatever else is not stealing. No physical loss is made and so no monetary loss either. Its copyright infringement.How you feel about doing that is another subject.

(C_Guy said @ #7.1)
Look up "stealing" in the dictionary and try again.

Perhaps you should do that, stealing constitutes theft of a physical object where there is a direct loss. Piracy and illicit downloading/uploading does not constitute stealing in the sense that nothing physical is exchanged other than 1's and 0's so there is no direct loss.

However Piracy and uploading/downloading copyrighted material does fall under copyright infringement in most places, however keep in mind the laws of one country might be different than where you reside so what might be illegal where you live might be completely legal somewheres else even if it is considered immoral.;)

(Xtreme2damax said @ #7.2)

Perhaps you should do that, stealing constitutes theft of a physical object where there is a direct loss. Piracy and illicit downloading/uploading does not constitute stealing in the sense that nothing physical is exchanged other than 1's and 0's so there is no direct loss.

However Piracy and uploading/downloading copyrighted material does fall under copyright infringement in most places, however keep in mind the laws of one country might be different than where you reside so what might be illegal where you live might be completely legal somewheres else even if it is considered immoral.;)

Got 'em!

(markjensen said @ #7.3)
Not stealing. It is wrong and unethical, and you can get sued for doing it. But it is "copyright infringement", not "theft".

Exactly. I can't stand this same old argument. It's not theft, and it's not necessarily a lost sale. Same exact thing with video games too. Just because someone downloads it doesn't mean they would've gone out and purchased it.. and therefore the company isn't losing any money by it happening.

Its marketing, just like the ads against copyright infringement. They state that its the same as stealing when it clearly isn't, copyright infringement is not necessarily stealing (ataris_kids point) and if ads were put on TV saying it its okay to download games and music for torrent sites and not even own a genuine copy people would believe it and would download.
In my opinion if I download a game, same as I might borrow from (or lend to) a friend is not stealing or wrong, especially when I wouldn't have bought it anyway, however if a game is good I will buy it (to support the artist) and all the games I play regularly I own a legal, genuine copy with a cd-key which I have paid for.

I feel people should be able to pay a monthly fee and in turn be allowed to download copyright material, however it would be hard to make sure the artists get their cut. Anyway copyright infringement (in terms of downloading) means that the artist isn't getting money they should be but the way things are it seems the record labels etc. are the ones getting rich off artists work and copyright infringement doesn't seem to bother them much...

Look on the bright side, assuming those people don't screw up and start sending letters out to innocent parties, it'll mean some more bandwidth available on the network. Especially if it encourages some of these 500GB a month users to cut back or change ISP.

If your using bit-torrent and P2P legally, you should, in theory, have nothing to worry about. If they do start screwing up, then I can see some lawyers getting involved.

When you use bit-torrent and other p2p networks, your broadcasting your IP address.

Virgin Media is not doing the filtering. It would appear that the BPI or a related group are watching on the Torrent/P2P networks, then telling virgin about your IP address, who then slat together 2 letters, put it in an envolpe and send it to the user with the IP address at the time of the offence.

(TR1GG3R said @ #4)
may be a dumb Q. but how can they tell exactly wot your downloading ? :blink:

Well for a start, they're your ISP, they control every bit of data you send and receive, so how can they NOT tell what you're downloading?

Plus, things like Bit Torrent stand out, it's easy enough for them to identify when someone is using the protocol, it wouldn't take much more to figure out what exactly it is that you're pirating, especially if you're not using encryption.

(Kushan said @ #4.2)

Well for a start, they're your ISP, they control every bit of data you send and receive, so how can they NOT tell what you're downloading?

Plus, things like Bit Torrent stand out, it's easy enough for them to identify when someone is using the protocol, it wouldn't take much more to figure out what exactly it is that you're pirating, especially if you're not using encryption.

Encryption won't hide your IP address. It's still visible to the client software.

(ScottishLad said @ #4.3)
Encryption won't hide your IP address. It's still visible to the client software.

Maybe not, but they won't be able to tell what your content is, though. And there are some who are now developing a new P2P protocol that makes the user completely anonymous, including hiding one's IP.

(ScottishLad said @ #4.3)

Encryption won't hide your IP address. It's still visible to the client software.

They can't warn you for downloading ANY kind of data, the point of encryption is they don't even know it's bit torrent and even if they could monitor patters to detect bit torrent, they have no idea WHAT you're downloading.

(Kushan said @ #4.5)

They can't warn you for downloading ANY kind of data, the point of encryption is they don't even know it's bit torrent and even if they could monitor patters to detect bit torrent, they have no idea WHAT you're downloading.

ugh you again, VM aren't doing the inspecting, the BPI are by checking who is sharing what on a tracker, encryption won't hide/change any of that. BPI then collect VM IPs that are using the tracker and send them to VM, VM then send the letters out to the customers with those IP addresses.

(Kushan said @ #4.5)

They can't warn you for downloading ANY kind of data, the point of encryption is they don't even know it's bit torrent and even if they could monitor patters to detect bit torrent, they have no idea WHAT you're downloading.

I thought encryption only encrypts the headers, not the actual contents...

(Ksg said @ #4.7)

I thought encryption only encrypts the headers, not the actual contents...

yeah, they can easily tell what you are downloading, how do you think they filter encrypted traffic now? encryption has little or no effect on ISP's with the proper hardware to filter the packets and then impose limits on you. It did have an effect like 3 years ago...

(ScottishLad said @ #4.3)
Encryption won't hide your IP address. It's still visible to the client software.

True but unless the copyright owner can prove that the content belongs to them they don't stand a chance of getting a conviction against you. You downloading a file called Some.Crap.Move.Made.Last.Year.Torrant doesn't mean a thing ( its likely to be case ) but unfortunately this on its own wont stand up in court. ... however in this case they can simply fire of letters willy nilly and Virgin will cut them off.

The ISP cant tell what your downloading if its encrypted all they can do is estimate based on where the content is coming from.

Technically both are. It just happens that uploading content is frowned upon more.

Either way, you download a DVD, your essentially stealing.

You are both right and you are both wrong.

It all depends on the local laws.

In the Netherlands, for instance, it is not illegal to download anything. Uploading is the problem. It might be different in another country.

The act of downloading and uploading was originally legal in any country... the laws being breached are duplicating copyrighted material among others... (also if you download a torrent you also upload it at the same time - which means you are also aiding criminal activity in any circumstance.)

Since file sharing has taken off, countries have introduced addional laws to combat file sharing specifically... such laws have been introduced in some places making it illegal to 'upload copyrighted material'.... this does not mean downloading the content is legal, (it can be in spefic examples such as if you own the content you downloaded it is perfeclty legal anywhere I believe (presuming you do not use the content in two different places at the same time (such as you listen to something on your iPod while your brother listens on the PC).

The other day I downloaded SimCity4+Rush Hour what I believe to be perfectly legal ... I have bough both SimCtiy4 and the Rush Hour expansion pack and paid for them... the reason I downloaded them was Im too lazy to use the discs as they are an incoveinence to carry everywhere I carry my laptop. I used my serial which I bought so this is perfeclty legal to my understanding.

Simply put.... having something you havent paid for is illegal... having something you have paid for is legal.... Just because some laws say it is illegal to upload... the ommision of not mentioning downloading doesnt mean its legal to download - other laws clealry state this to be illegal in some other way, even if they dont specifically mention the internet.

(plastikaa said @ #3.3)
The act of downloading and uploading was originally legal in any country... the laws being breached are duplicating copyrighted material among others... (also if you download a torrent you also upload it at the same time - which means you are also aiding criminal activity in any circumstance.)

Since file sharing has taken off, countries have introduced addional laws to combat file sharing specifically... such laws have been introduced in some places making it illegal to 'upload copyrighted material'.... this does not mean downloading the content is legal, (it can be in spefic examples such as if you own the content you downloaded it is perfeclty legal anywhere I believe (presuming you do not use the content in two different places at the same time (such as you listen to something on your iPod while your brother listens on the PC).

The other day I downloaded SimCity4+Rush Hour what I believe to be perfectly legal ... I have bough both SimCtiy4 and the Rush Hour expansion pack and paid for them... the reason I downloaded them was Im too lazy to use the discs as they are an incoveinence to carry everywhere I carry my laptop. I used my serial which I bought so this is perfeclty legal to my understanding.

Simply put.... having something you havent paid for is illegal... having something you have paid for is legal.... Just because some laws say it is illegal to upload... the ommision of not mentioning downloading doesnt mean its legal to download - other laws clealry state this to be illegal in some other way, even if they dont specifically mention the internet.

That's not very believable. If you bought the game and expansion, why would you need to download it? Just use the discs you bought. And your understanding is wrong. You can't download a disc because you don't want to use the original, lost it, whatever... Almost any company will replace media with proof of purchase.

That's not very believable. If you bought the game and expansion, why would you need to download it? Just use the discs you bought. And your understanding is wrong. You can't download a disc because you don't want to use the original, lost it, whatever... Almost any company will replace media with proof of purchase.

I have images of the disc which I run using MagicDisc, so I dont have to put the CD in my laptops noisy CD drive and hear them buzzing away which is just irritating and slower than reading from the hard drive anyway. I could have ripped the disc to my laptop myself but that would be pointless and probably take longer than downloading through a 20mb connection too.

The reason is I dont like to carry CDs around with me - the same reason people rip music CDs to their hard drive, its a pretty easy concept to understand I thought... I know it can be patched not to require the discs... but it kept crashing when I tried that so that wasnt too useful.

I fail to see where my understanding is wrong... I have not stolen any material goods... so its not theft. I have not obtained any material I do not own, so I personally havent breached copyright law... the only thing its really possible to suggest is I have aided criminal activity - that is on the presumption that while I was downloading I was connected to others who were breaching copyright laws.

Im not at home at the moment and dont return for a week... at a desktop sure what I have done would be pointless but I have enough to carry and worry about let alone a disc too (no it cant be left in my drive I have to burn discs all the time for work submissions).

(its also the only game/piece of software I have on my laptop which isnt work software, meaning buying it didnt exactly break the bank, I dont have loads of free time meaning I don't need 50 games to entertain me.)

(ScottishLad said @ #3.1)
Technically both are. It just happens that uploading content is frowned upon more.

Either way, you download a DVD, your essentially stealing.

Incorrect.

Its copyright infringement which is a civil case.

There is a slight difference here as when you steal something you deprive somebody ( the shop whatever ) of the value of the goods. When you download something the copyright owner is deprived of a potentional loss.

Seeing as nothing physical has been removed and proof cannot be made that the person would actually buy it if they dident download it then its treated differently.

Wow, it's amazing how fast Blueyonders reputation has been destroyed by Virgin Media. First there was the ramping up of download speeds and free upgrades, this then put too much strain on the network so they introduced STM policies. Now "suspected" users are going to receive threats in the post!!

Let's not forget that phorm is on the horizon as well. Well done VM you've completely screwed what once was a great ISP.

(beardedwonder said @ #1)
Wow, it's amazing how fast Blueyonders reputation has been destroyed by Virgin Media. First there was the ramping up of download speeds and free upgrades, this then put too much strain on the network so they introduced STM policies. Now "suspected" users are going to receive threats in the post!!

Let's not forget that phorm is on the horizon as well. Well done VM you've completely screwed what once was a great ISP.

+1 i know soon as my contract is up i wont be with em im gona find sum 1 else n get sky tv also (cheaper)