AfterDawn: Tech news

Tiscali refuses to reveal 'music pirates'

Written by Ben Reid @ 12 Jul 2006 5:45 User comments (12)

Tiscali refuses to reveal 'music pirates' Internet Service Provider Tiscali has swiftly responded to allegations from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that it allowed its customers to illegally trade music files.
On Monday, the BPI sent official letters to both Tiscali and Cable And Wireless, and requested that they suspend some 59 accounts, (17 of which were Tiscali customers), which they claimed were being used for for "illegal filesharing".

A spokeswoman for Tiscali described the actions of the BPI as a 'media ambush'. She said the BPI had "[sent] their letter to the media before we even had a chance to read it and the information they went to press with was not strictly correct".

In a legal response to the BPI yesterday, Tiscali said it was concerned the way in which the issue was raised, what it feels was a lack of supporting evidence on 16 of the 17 customers indicated.

Jody Haskayne, the head of PR at Tiscali, said the ISP regularly cooperates with investigations and in no way condones illegal file-sharing, but feels it has a duty of care to its customers and must adhere strictly to the Data Protection Act.

Tiscali's response letter to the BPI states:

"You have sent us a spreadsheet setting out a list of 17 IP addresses you allege belong to Tiscali customers, whom you allege have infringed the copyright of your members, together with the dates and times and with which sound recording you allege that they have done so. You have also sent us extracts of screenshots of the shared drive of one of those customers. You state that such evidence is "overwhelming". However, you have provided no actual evidence in respect of 16 of the accounts. Further, you have provided no evidence of downloading taking place nor have you provided evidence that the shared drive was connected by the relevant IP address at the relevant time.

"Similar requests we have dealt with in the past, have included such information and, indeed, the bodies conducting those investigations have felt that a court would consider it necessary to see such evidence, supported by sworn statements, before being able to grant any order."

Tiscali has requested more evidence from the BPI before proceeding with the requests outlined, and said it has contacted the customers concerned to ask for an explanation of their actions.

"Should we not receive an adequate explanation during such period, we shall suspend the user's account pending resolution of [the BPI] investigation, assuming by that time we have received evidence from [the BPI] of a link between the user account and the IP address at the relevent time," it said.

Tiscali also noted, "It is not for Tiscali, as an ISP, nor the BPI, as a trade association, to effectively act as a regulator or law enforcement agency and deny individuals the right to defend themselves against the allegations made against them."

Tiscali also said it is not able to release customer details to the BPI unless it obtains a court order.


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12 user comments

112.7.2006 7:36

Great that there still are some people who protect their customers and stick to (the ever-twisting) letter of the law.

212.7.2006 7:51

Thank god Tiscali had the balls not to play along with them and protect the people who they should really be caring about; their customers I hope all other ISPs follow suit and are not compliant with the BPI... I also hope that that court order fails!

312.7.2006 11:06

I hope my ISP does this if some people get busted by the riaa/mpaa.

412.7.2006 12:19

You know... With all the unsecure wireless networks popping up everywhere, it's going to be interesting to see the reactions of the numerous completely innocent consumers being threatened with law suits. While there neighbor sits back downloading everything under the sun to his hearts content, the non-tech savvy joe blow, is going to be burried up to his neck in legal problems. Just a thought... But I know it's happening in almost every major city in the U.S. at this very moment.

512.7.2006 23:53

@skeil909 Agreed, and a terrific point. In fact I wouldn't say only "almost" every city. This reminds me of the "PhotoCop" situation in my home town where a camera would take a picture of your car's license plate if "you" were speeding and mail a speeding ticket to your house. They forgot one very important thing... What if YOU weren't driving?? Lol! They decided to can that law. Maybe the same thing will happen with this scene. And then there's the spoofers too.

613.7.2006 3:40

Bloody hell this suprises me no end as I'v always thought of Tiscali as the company that likes to screw over there customers, I'v had no end of troubles with them in the 2 months I'v been with them, so people I wouldn't recommend going with them.

713.7.2006 4:11

how does one get "screenshots of the shared drive of one of those customers" legally? just curious...

813.7.2006 5:02

Tiscali is the company that likes to screw its customers....hard ! Their service in inept, customer service non/existant and tech problems commonplace, they also block and disable customers who "use too much bandwidth" Don't be fooled by thier apparent knight in shining armour routine, like i said, they screw their customers big time but that doesn't mean they are going to co-operate with someone else who wants to do the same thing , in this case the BPI. After all, they are tiscali's customers to screw not the BPI's

914.7.2006 16:28

This is the way all ISP's should operate. I respect those guys for protecting their customers.

1014.7.2006 17:39

got to love the data protection act, also the computer misuse act, meaning just about the only way they can get you is if your using anything with shared folder.

1116.7.2006 15:05

God help all users on Telewest if the BPI starts on them next.. up to 10mbps cable connection, no download limit & a decent news server? (and before you ask, i dont work for Telewest, im just a satisfied customer.. :)) I bet theres a fair few gigs of music on them there hard drives.. only downside is that theyve just been snapped up by NTL who also brought Virgin Mobile in the UK, so probably destined to be be massive shortly.. and when you're big you get noticed easier.. :(

1219.7.2006 14:00

If you ask me, my answer in short is B R A V O!!!! Tisacli for standing eyeball to eyeball to these scavangers called BPI. What is their problem, I may say? There should be freedom of information either shared or not with others broadband users. Hold on a moment! We'll soon be subjected to house to house hard drive cleaning if care is not taken. I'm gutted with BPI.

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