HEXUS can report that BitTorrent traffic is being monitored. We know that this isn't new to some of our USA readers. The difference here is that we have had a report that a user of UK ISP Pipex has been contacted over downloading “unlicensed copies of copyrighted computer programs” Hmmm.
The traffic is not being monitored by the ISPs. Rather, the traffic is being watched by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an organisation which looks after its member’s software copyright, similar to that of the RIAA for the music industry.
The BSA watches all traffic and it sees what IPs are contributing or downloading from various sites. It will then do a look-up and follow a route of action, starting with an email to the ISP who have a legal obligation to pass on the email associated with the the IP connection. If, however, the ISPs don’t contact the customer then they will be held liable for contributory infringement.
We know people download illegally via BitTorrent – and we do not endorse this whatsoever. However it’s clear that the BSA are getting serious and will be clamping down on folks who continue to download in volume from flagged peer-to-peer networks.
“The Business Software Alliance has determined that the connection listed below, which appears to be using an Internet account under your control, is using a P2P network seen below to offer unlicensed copies of copyrighted computer programs published by the BSA's member companies.”The email from the BSA to the ISP is very detailed. It includes the IP, the Protocol, the Asset being downloaded, the EXACT file name and the DNS address of the connection (and date/time stamp, too).
Here's how Pipex replied to its own customer, an avid HEXUS reader.
“We have received a complaint regarding an allegation of Copyright Infringement.
We were supplied an IP address of the system that was sharing the alleged copyrighted material, which we traced to your PIPEX ADSL account.
Pipex stated that if this wasn’t rectified within 7 days then it may terminate our reader's connection.
As I am sure you are aware, this breaches our Acceptable Use Policy, (http://www.pipex.net/legal/aup/
) and many copyright laws, namely the Berne Convention.”
At the moment it appears to be just warnings, but it's clear that further action will follow. Will we see the RIAA-style snoop attack flowing forward?