back to article Now Hollywood is chasing UK downloaders

Tiscali threatened to disconnect a customer for illegally downloading a TV show last week, after receiving a copyright infringement notice from a Hollywood studio. The only problem was the customer had quit the ISP months before the alleged transgression was made. Euan MacLay had been a customer of Freedom2Surf (F2S) for two …

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Flame

What about the rest of us?

I was quite happily not downloading loads of files with AOL unlimited until it ws taken over by Crapphoney Whorehouse. They then proceeded to diddle me out of my account by making it virtuallu unusable.

Now because I already had a line with the swear-words circumvented I am with the limited Talk Talk service.

No real problem but I do like to wartch the occasional You Tube item.

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Flame

Doesn't suprise me with Tiscalli

Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery

My sister left them to go to Sky and they continued to charge her, when she asked for it back, instead of getting her money back Tiscalli called the Bailiffs in to collect the money they had already collected.

To this day she still does not have the money although the hounds are no longer involved. It actually took my sister to send the Bailiffs the letters to get them to go away. Being nice bailiffs they didn't say anymore or apologise for their lord and masters mistake.

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Infringer's user name?

So where'd they get that from then? The ISP? The torrent tracker? What is it supposed to represent?

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Black Helicopters

Damages

Presumably the evil downloader has now been added to the database of terrorists and other enemies of capitalism and will be deep probed at any airport he visits for the rest of his days. I do hope he pursues Freedom2Surf for every penny they have (as an example to others).

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Pirate

Downloaders move en-masse to Tiscalli then

Looks like all down loaders need to move to Tiscalli as there is ample evidence that they cannot match ip with id.

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@Darren The answer's simple

Get your sister to send the bailiffs to Tiscali. Seriously.

Issue a small claims notice, take 'em to SC court adding punative costs and send the bailiffs. Who knows, maybe they'll confiscate a couple of servers to pay the debt...

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Abuse

They have an 'Abuse Team' - excellent! I guess their mission statement is 'We abuse our customers'.

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Silver badge
Pirate

Hollywood in Decline .... with Capitol Hill Politics Smashing the Golden Goose Eggs

Actually, the very first paragraph of the "flawed(pdf)" contains the rotten apples which are spoiling the barrel.

"The latter activities, however, are perceived as a threat to the business models of the copyright holders"

The threats perceived are really against all the parasitic business models sucking their life blood from copyright holders/creative minds, and copyright holders business models being threatened is a invented red herring being used to mask the Fraud and Conspiracy. And it is Typical of Failed Agents/Stock which cannot Properly Look after their Stars.

Just as well that there is Virtually Real Democratic Change on ITs Way and in the AIRWaves to Prevent Total Collapse with Catastrophic Meltdown.

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Coat

Torrent

Cool- The file is still available for download. Thanks Tiscalli. :)

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Thumb Down

There must be a mistake....

So with tongue firmly in check these are one of the isp's who are going to hand on the unchecked assertations of the BPI,it is just incredible the excuses they can come up with.

Automated system error,why is something as important as this handled by anything other than a person ???? are they snowed under with these notices.

Let this be a lesson to all Tiscali customers this is the level of service you can expect on all matters . I would hope that this persons details werent passed backwards to Baytsp, because if they were ,data protection laws will have been broken by Tiscali as well, but perhaps they have an Automated system in place to ensure that cant happen.

If this person had still been with Tiscali ,unless it was a static ip address they would have been in a situation they could probably have not defended ,you should at least expect your isp to know who has what ip address down to the second,most dynamic ip users would never dream of logging what ip address they were on for each session ,perhaps they should now think of doing it.....or getting an isp who can.

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Unhappy

Guilty until you prove yourself innocent

I too strongly, "believe that the entire Internet community benefits when these matters are resolved cooperatively". Shame there is no resolution ... and no cooperation on the part of these companies... what we have instead is persecution via written threat in a world rife with phishing scams... there can be no winner, we are all losing. It shouldn't be long now before the only thing you are permitted to do with your internet connection is pay your electric bill, buy books and read unmissable offers to get your breasts enlarged, penis extended and, naturally, "win" 250,000,000 USD.

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Dead Vulture

sooooo

If I create, say 1,000,000 text files , rename them to latest-movie-pirated.avi and upload said text file to Kazaa will I get one of these or are the studios lackeys downloading files to check they are what they purport to be? and if they do download them will they be the next to receive on of these emails?

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Is this starting to sound like Extortion?

Ok, not in this particular case, but it seems these letters are demanding money when no guilt has been legally established, ie. there is no attempt to punish an infringement, just a demand for money with menaces.

They seem to be playing the same kind of numbers game that email scammers do. Maybe I should give it a go?

"Dear Sir

You have photographed me in the backgraound of one of your Facebook pictures. I did not authorise my picture being used so pay me £300 or I'll take you to court."

Bound to hit one or two old biddies who'll be scared into paying up.

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Flame

@Darren B

Interesting - I had the exact same experience recently, moving from Pipex to Sky. Except I had a premonition that it wouldn't go smoothly, so I cancelled the direct debit after my final payment, with the result that they haven't taken any more money but they have sent thousands of emails and left voicemails threatening disconnection, ballifs etc.

I recommend that anyone still with them

a) Moves to someone else

b) Cancels the direct debit or changes credit card straight after

c) Prepares to be deluged with threats by their collections department

In an industry characterized by poor customer service these people are the worst by a mile.

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Stop

Fuck em

I get the impression now that its not even the content holders doing this anymore, its the "ambulance chasers", the scumbag little agencies and contractors whose job it is to scare money out of people.

Why would MGM give a shit about us watching Atlantis, especially since hardly any of us can watch the thing (thanks to Virgin and Sky parting ways), and even less in HD.

So we're the FANS, who inevitably buy all the boxsets, and upcoming DVD-only movies, anyway.

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Tiscali - robbed me too!

I also left Tiscali for Sky, they carried on billing me, I've asked them for it back, and managed to get a cheque for about £4 even though they'd charged me for a whole month.

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Black Helicopters

Still using indirect detection - wow

The linked pdf describing detection techniques is downright scary! Are people actually going to end up in court based on indirect detection? Legally it sounds like a shakey basis to do anything as you're assigning guilt based on a list held by a 3rd party, rather than proving participation.

It'll be interesting to see if studios go after downloads of first run versions of shows, i.e. not DVD rips. Those probably increase DVD sales in the UK, as folks get hooked on shows that would otherwise only be seen by the minority who pay through the nose for $ky.

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@Darren B

Send the Bailiffs to get the money back.

Take them (not the Bailiffs) to the small claims court.

The only way these people will learn is through their pockets, bad publicity does not work, they are merely the internet equivalent of box shifters.

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An apology is not enough

F2S should be reported to the Office of the Information Commissioner (or whatever it's called). Data has been kept which is clearly innaccurate. An apology doesn't cut it.

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Tempting

If I were the accused, I'd be very tempted to let them take me to court, then in my defense, produce a single sheet of paper confirming my account termination. Bet that would embarass them.

@Wokstation - Didn't someone do that to Tesco's a while ago? I remember reading in the paper that the baliffs cordoned off the alcohol isle and started working out how much they'd have to take to settle the debt

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Jabber Hockey

The race to offer cheaper and cheaper services had seen the standard of customer service go from not bad in the old days of ISPs to atrocious in the current time of media delivery companies. Stories like the one in this article show that the back room procedures are suffering too.

The people who have bad stories about their internet provider must outnumber the people who don't. A quick straw pole here reveals a 60-40 (ish) split with the bad stories winning the day. I think that's a bit low but maybe the bad story people are more vocal.

I suspect an ISP who could offer a decent speed, no Phorm and customer service agents who are intelligent would cost much more than we currently pay. Now, would they get any subscribers?

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Alien

Criminalise us all!

Criminalise the masses; add the new burdon of Fear and Guilt now that religion no longer excercises such holds on the general populace! The government backs this carp as it gives them power and lets them...legally (fuzzy area this privacy issue eh?) monitor what it's inmates are doing.....I think some form of protest will soon be in order, by Eris!

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Chase me, chase me...

@amanfrommars

"Just as well that there is Virtually Real Democratic Change on ITs Way"

I do hope so - but I regret to say that I've got a feeling that the Dems are once again going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

@Wokstation

"Issue a small claims notice"

Couldn't agree more. One of the best things ever invented - I've used it on several occasions and never once have I been let down by the system. Each time I received my money back and with expenses, twice the court sent the bailiffs round to recover the money. If they were hit by a couple dozen of these, although the amounts would be small, the bad press might wake them up.

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Pirate

Just eagerly waiting...

for one of these POS letters to arrive.

We have NEVER used any torrent, of any kind, and have never downloaded anything counter to "copyright". (No, I'm not a feckin saint, just not interested in being a 'freetard')

I plan to cite demanding money with menaces, for threatening to take court action over a non-existent event unless I cough up.

This is 'legitimised' extortion, and must be stopped.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Tiscali - robbed me too!

And me. Went to TalkTalk (yes yes I know) two months ago, Tiscali say they weren't told, so they've carried on merrily billing me.

Hate to do the 'tch, politicians/service providers/banks/etc they're all the same', but really, I loathe them all.

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Flame

Claim against direct debit.

Why do any of you idiots leave the direct debit running ?

Although if you do you can claim the money back from direct debit themselves.

Tiscali are Italian, no mafia jokes Reg ?

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Re: Tiscali - robbed me too!

And me. When I moved house last Bulldog told me they'd put my new service in on my old account, whereas they'd actually opened a new account and then left both running (and billing). Due to new baby sleep deprivation I ended up £400 out of pocket before I noticed. They did eventually pay up, but it took about eight months and legal threats. When I joyfully left their service I cancelled the direct debit as a first point of call, then had to suffer months of money demands as they tried to bill for a service I didn't have.

From forum posts and the like I gained the strong impression that leaving DDs running is company policy for Tiscali.

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Anonymous Coward

TV shows?

I'm not one for downloading movies/music en masse, but I've always thought TV shows weren't too bad, especially shows I have no legal option to view. It's not as if I could nip over to the US every week to watch TV (so they're not losing legitimate audience numbers/advertising revenue or channel subscription).

The best thing they can do is reduce the gap between US and UK showings (Sky have made some progress on this), get them on DVD quicker, or get them officially downloadable.

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Unhappy

TalkTalk?

Other than a service that keeps dropping & reestablishing connection since they installed their own junk in my local exchange, I have actually been quite happy with the service I've had from TalkTalk.

But then I was with BT before, so what do I know? (well, other than I won't be going back to BT until they drop their prices, dump Phorm and actually listen to me when I call them...)

The only time I downloaded a film from a Torrent site was to make sure I wanted to go and buy the DVD from my local store (for the sneaky-beaky lawyers hiding amongst us, I did go and purchase it later the same day).

Given that burning the film onto a DVD costs less than £1 and the Chancellor only steals about £2.40-odd as "value"-added tax, the film company is making a tidy profit from a DVD costing me £13.99...

As for paying the "copyright enforcers" £300 to avoid going to court, I'd like to see their Expert Witness prove that my wireless router is 100% secure and that NOBODY can have accessed the Intnernet via my connection... it's secure enough to stop the local kiddies (and my innocent but IT-illiterate neighbours who cannot set up a wireless link to their own Routers to save their lives!) from using my link, but anyone with a bit of knowledge (and some sneaky software) can break the so-called 'encryption' on it quite easily... Against the average User I'd say it's about 99.95% safe (there's always that million-to-one chance) but against some of the people I've worked with (and that's just the honest ones!) I'd put it closer to transparent if I left 'em near it for a day...

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Flame

Tiscalli - Dont know who is connected to their services

Bulldog another one of Tiscalli newly acquired subsidiaries decided in January this year that they would no longer serve SDSL gave me a months notice that they would cancel my account. Having moved and setup with another service. Bulldog continued to send the invoices for 2 more months. They insisted that I was still using the service that they no longer provided. After a vast amount of time on the phone and a few heated discussions finally they dropped all charges. Yet another example of Tiscalli not knowing who is or is not connected to its services.

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Paris Hilton

Lawyerspeak for "fuck off"

First reply:_

Sir,

Your communication dated xxxx is to hand this day and its contents noted.

Yours truly,

Second reply:-

Sir,

I draw your attention to my letter of xxxx.

Yours truly,

Paris because, oh, you know why.

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@AC

"Cancels the direct debit or changes credit card straight after"

Or get the credit card company to do a charge back, if you continue being charged on your credit card.

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Happy

I love Tiscali

They neglected to bill me for a year before I moved house. Can't complain about that.

They (years) later issued press releases about a 'billing error' and said they would be writing to all the people they 'forgot' to bill demanding their money. Tiscali, meet OFCOM regs that say telecom providers have (I think it's 90) days to issue an accurate bill to your customers or you lose the right to bill them (to stop BT issuing gigantic bills to grannies due to their errors no doubt).

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Dead Vulture

And me!

Tiscali seem to have problems with termination notices. Switched to Sky a couple years back when living with my brother, and changed the service to under his name. They claimed to not have received the notice, even though there was an email trail and they had sent me a survey asking why we had cancelled the service!

Meanwhile, I left to China for a stint, and Tiscali had the baliffs threatening to nick - sorry, "seize" - all my brother's stuff to pay the bill if he didn't tell them my new address. He told them where to shove that threat and to talk to his lawyers.

Would have been interested how they planned to enforce the seizure in China though...

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Happy

Easy answer

Stop watching their stuff, go and do something more interesting instead!

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Bronze badge

@ AC

" I have actually been quite happy with the service I've had from TalkTalk.

But then I was with BT before, so what do I know? (well, other than I won't be going back to BT until they drop their prices, dump Phorm and actually listen to me when I call them...)"

Umm - Talk Talk are in bed with phorm as well...

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Where's the proof?

Ok, so they have proof that you downloaded a file called "Stargate.Atlantis.S05E02.HDTV.XviD-0TV.avi", but where's the proof that this file actually contained said tv show?

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Pirate

roffle...

That episode of Atlantis wasn't even one of the better one's anyway so they should be greatful that people are even watching a truely great show which has been on a slow decline since the 3rd series.

Pirate symbol - well arrrrrgh and shiver-me-timbers ;)

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Tim
Stop

You steal, you get arrested...

...probably.

What you don't seem to realise that it is illegal to get hold of copyrighted material without the express permission of the copyright holder.

If you see downloading as not doing anything wrong, you are wrong, you may choose to ignore this fact but its correct. It's like going into a shop and stealing the DVDs off the shelves or petrol from a garage. An old argument I know, but it is still true.

Btw I used to work for Tiscali when the calls were taken in the UK and it's true, they couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

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Ash
Pirate

Fined £300

Where did they pluck this £300 figure from eh? Greedy bastards, the penalty far outweighs the crime IMO.

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Alert

Good ol' Tiscali

In the days of dial up I once signed up with Tiscali as they were offering a free month's trial and being a student I needed to save as much money as possible. As they wanted card details that they were saying that they were only going to start debiting after my free month and I didn't want to risk forgetting to cancel, I entered 4111 1111 1111 1111 as the card number, which is a commonly used test number that validates using the card checking algorithm. This worked and allowed me to sign up for my free month.

Surprisingly (or not) my internet access continued into month 2 without any contact from Tiscali. In fact it was a whole 9 months before they sent me a letter saying my card details were out of date and that I'd have to ring them to register new ones if I was to continue using the service. At that point I just cancelled my account with no further charges.

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Law
Flame

I would be screwed...

if I used bittorrent, and they sent me one of this emails! Why? Because I am with sky, and I already have a gmail account, so never check the sky-hacked-gmail account that sky gave me when I registered my account. Given a few of these letters I have no doubt I would be summoned to court, and that would be the first I would hear about it! :S

Luckily - I don't use bittorrent, but looking at this article, I obviously don't need to!! :(

To the people complaining about Tiscali - I've never used them, but I have used NTL. They did a number on me when I moved house, kept my old house service running, sending all demands for payment to that address (because they set up a new directdebit for my new address). This was done through their automated "move home service". After months and months, I realised I had a default on my account - so it took me 2 months to get it removed and the account cleared of debt. A year later, Virgin took over, a new default appeared on my credit file, and I had to threaten them with legal action before they recognised the mistake. Gotta love these awesome service providers no? I now make sure nobody I know who listens to me goes to Virgin for bb, tv or phone.

Flame - burn em all!!

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Alert

idiot ex-customer...

should have let it get to court... then the entire system could have been brought into question... especially the practice of passing details to the copyright holders... In Germany, an IP address and the details associated with it are now classed as private data...

Currently this practice is a little too like speeding tickets generated by Gatsos... you get a ticket in the mail asking you to accept the fine and plead guilty by post or else fighting it in court with all the associated costs and higher fine possibility.

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Paris Hilton

Sounds like

Sounds like all the wowsers running T's could not find their rear posteriors with a car boot sale selling right arms and a dozen free full length mirrors thrown in for a good measure and their left arms appear to be incapable of holding any balls too !

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How is a timestamp evidence?

This is the thing that _really_ annoys me about the music/movie industry allegations :-

What does a timestamp prove?

How is it evidence?

Could it be used in a courtroom?

For example, I could just type out the following now :-

Time/Date : 29/08/2008 - 12:15:44

Protocol : Spazshare

Username : Theregister

IP Address : 212.100.234.54

Material : Stargate

Filename : Stargate(e102)HD-DVD-rip.avi

So i've put a filename on a piece of paper along with an ip address that happens to belong to the register, that doesn't prove they were doing anything.

I can't see how any logs/lists/timestamps can even remotely be considered evidence, surely the only proof is physical evidence (i.e. confiscation and forensic examination of the hard drive that the file was allegedly shared from)

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Thumb Down

Don't want the nasty letter?

Then don't break the law! Why all the P2P criminals moan and rant beats me. They are breaking the law, they know they are breaking the law, and still the break the law.

We can argue over the nastiness of Holywood (and DVD regions get right on my tits) but the law is the law. Don't like it, lobby for it to be changed.

But if you break it, do not come crying to me when you get caught. Idiots.

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Pirate

Orange Burgled my account...

It was orange for me, Moved from Orange to BE in Feb (best thing ever!) Orange continued billing my account, I stopped the DD, next they phoned me about my debt, at which point the lady on the phone immediatly realised.. she didn't read the script, and said..oh dear ermm i see there is a problem here.. she apologisedand unfortunatly I had to re-setup a direct debit so they could refund me... I was not happy about that!

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Dan
Pirate

@Tim

http://bitsandpieces.us/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/imagespiracy-20not-20theft.jpg

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@Tim

"It's like going into a shop and stealing the DVDs off the shelves or petrol from a garage. An old argument I know, but it is still true."

Except it's not true, which is why copyright infringement does not result in a prosecution for theft.

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re: You steal, you get arrested...

"What you don't seem to realise that it is illegal to get hold of copyrighted material without the express permission of the copyright holder."

Nope, it is a civil tort. Not a crime.

Selling it is a crime but one of fraud: you do not have the right to sell it on unless it is a legitimate copy and if you are representing it as a legitimate copy for sale you are defrauding.

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