One comforting thought amidst the nightmares
If someone is taking the time to look into this it can only be a good sign.
All I ask is that everyone who is looking at the files considers how they would react if they discovered that they were either the person who was the BT customer during the trial or the website whose data was harvested (read stolen) so that a commercial company (in this case, BT Retail) could claim that they have access to all the content on the internet and the freedom to use that content for whatever purpose (including partnering with an advertising network which claims it will be able to make millions from the harvested data) without any liability for royalties or other licence fees.
Background information for those who are not following this closely.
BT Retail claim that all they are doing is:
".... two distinct actions carried out by the Webwise system which are relevant from a copyright perspective:
"1) The mirroring of opted-in end-user traffic to the Webwise Profiler servers and
"2) The creation of a temporary 'Data Digest' from web traffic which has been mirrored to the Profiler servers."
BT Retail claim "we agree that mirroring/copying is a potentially infringing act unless it is done with the consent of the copyright owner or is otherwise allowed by law" and then counter that with:
"However, irrespective of the above position, we consider that we have lawful authority to carry out the mirroring process required to operate Webwise. This arises from the combination of Article 2 and Article 5(1) of European Directive 2001/29/EC, which has been put into force in the UK by an amendment to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 which added section 28A. This legislation set out conditions in which an exception to the author's exclusive right of reproduction can exist. We consider that the mirroring process performed by Webwise meets these condition as:
"A) It is "transient or incidental"
"B) The sole purpose of the mirroring is to enable a lawful use of a copyright work (including process 2 above)
"C) The temporary reproduction has no independent economic significance.
"Given the above, it is our position that, whether or not we have an implied consent from a website owner for the mirroring process, this process is compatible with the relevant legislation."
If the 'temporary reproduction has no independent economic significance' how do they explain that these 'temporary reproductions' are the basis of a new revenue stream?
Since when has it been lawful to take a copy of what someone is looking at under a restricted licence which excludes commercial use, and use that copy to select an advertiser who is selling the same product. What gives BT Retail the right to a 'no liability for any licence fee payment nor recognition of copyright' commercial use licence just because it is their customer looking at the page?
It is not the mirroring which is the issue here. ISPs make cache copies all the time as part of providing their Internet services. It is that the ISP does something to that mirrored copy which gives it an economic value to the ISP which is in no way connected to the original purpose of delivering web content from a server to a user's browser window. A conduit is all an ISP is allowed to be and to do anything else they require an additional licence from the copyright owner and to intercept the traffic without such consent/licence is not permitted under UK law.