AfterDawn: Tech news

BPI feels sorry for parents it sues?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Aug 2005 16:33 User comments (8)

BPI feels sorry for parents it sues? A spokesman for the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a body that represents music labels in the UK and International major record companies made a comment today that suggests the BPI actually sympathises with parents they file lawsuits against because of their kids online activity. "We genuinely feel sorry for parents who are caught up (in this) because their children have been file sharing illegally," he said. He was commenting on how Sylvia Price, a 53 year old mother was forced to settle because she couldn't afford to contest the lawsuit.
Her daughter Emily is only 14 years old, and has been accused by major record companies of illegally distributing copyrighted music over P2P networks. Her mother was shocked to discover that the BPI was suing her for this and is very displeased that the BPI didn't simply warn her daughter before taking legal action. "They should have sent something to saying 'if you keep doing this we will fine you' - they should have sent a warning first," she said. The BPI however, claims that people sharing music illegally had been initially contacted through messaging systems on file-sharing networks.

Now let's think about that claim for a second. Firstly, it would be absurd of the BPI to believe that all the warnings they send to P2P users actually reach the user. Most P2P software gives you the option to completely block incoming messages. This block is not there to block lawsuit warnings; it's there to block spammers who abuse the messaging systems to send millions of spam messages to users. For this reason, a lot of P2P users block all messages right after they install P2P software.

88 file sharers have been targeted by the BPI so far and according to the spokesman, 60 have already been settled. Nobody seems to want to contest the lawsuits despite the fact that many experts and lawyers call the evidence against users "weak", as all it has to go on is an IP address. It doesn't take into account the possibility that somebody else other than the account holder's family downloaded/uploaded the music or worse, the computer was hijacked and turned into a music file server. The latter happens everyday and accounts for a huge amount of "XDCC bots" on IRC for example.

Source:
BBC News

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8 user comments

121.8.2005 17:07

Number 1, God I wish there was someone in these cases that would contest this stuff, because it is all based on IP addys and number 2, I bet all the people targeted in this situation were all parents (who don't understand the technology) and had their kids being the ones who traded music (who might also not understand the situation) its a clever ploy by the BPI (paranoid; I know). I think instead of suing people who actually know what they're doing and put up a fight in court they go after people who don't know what is going on. It's a form of deterrence. Parent's will read about the statement where they show sympathy with those they sue and then think that the BPI isn't so bad. As a result parents will crack down harder on their kids and such. Or maybe its all me.

221.8.2005 17:25

The BPI are damn hypocrites if they felt so sorry then they would not sue 14 year old kids. If i was to be sued by the BPI and i never received a written letter with a warning i would kick up **** and fight them because there just bullying people to do things the way the want and this is nothing more than a dictatorship wanting common people to do things there way and then taking legal action knowing that most people cant pay for lawyers. END of rant :)

321.8.2005 22:13

It's just plain bullying. Most people don't have the money to put up a fight so they must settle. Money over justice any day.

422.8.2005 2:09
runner121
Inactive

They are about one thing,money.Do you think they care where it comes from?probably not.After all money is money.Do You think for one minute they cared at all about peoples lives they ruin that were struggling to make it in the first place? no.Of course not.They have better things to do than be concerned with your welfare.If people would start suing these a*sh*l*s,maybe one day they would feel the crunch.Maybe they would find they no longer had money to operate.HEY!its what some of them deserve.I would be grinning ear to ear to see several of these labels go completely broke.And then I would laugh maniacly.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Aug 2005 @ 8:10

522.8.2005 2:21

The BPI is playing a dangerous game with all these threats of lawsuits because all it takes is for someone with balls to take it all the way to court and win and think of the headlines. P2P sharer walks free etc etc. Loads of publicity. A legal precedent that will stop the random gathering of IP addresses and legal threats and therefore more people attracted to the networks. So I say - carry on BPI. Shoot yourself in the f**king foot.

622.8.2005 3:59
gareth22
Inactive

isnt there not any data protection laws over there?

722.8.2005 4:39

Do kids these days actually have a clue as to what the legal implications of downloading/uploading stuff on the net, the 14 yr old whos mother is getting sued, bet you she has no clue!! maybe not even how to use a pc properly even though she managed to install and use a P2P app, but now if they genuiely feel sorry for these parents then why on earth sue if they know its the 14 yr old that has been doing these thing, like what was said before. There are so many angles that this can be seen as wrong as, like the no warning, the kid being 14!! ya granted its a new day in age and kids a re becoming smarted with technology, but not every 14 yr old has the brains of a pc expert and knows exactly what to do!! But hey big consumer companies dont look like they could give a fly, other than for the money that is!

825.8.2005 20:45

Hey guys: How many here are attorneys? I will tell you one thing. There is such a thing as class action lawsuits where if enough victims get together they conter sue the record labels for harrassement and punitive damages can be awarded if a jury trial ensues. I am sure when there is enough victims laying around there could be something done about this. If lawers smell money they will crawl out of the woodworks. Just takes a few victims to start one. And all the attorney's fees will be on a contingency basis. An attorney or two will get great publicity out of it and have public support I am sure.

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