The move marks a significant development of the BPI’s three year long campaign against illegal filesharing. Until now the BPI has concentrated its efforts on individual uploaders. It has pursued legal action against 139 uploaders.
All four cases which have gone to court have been found in the BPI’s favour. 111 uploaders have chosen to settle out of court paying amounts of up to £6,500 in settlement. While the BPI retains the right to pursue cases against individual uploaders, the move against ISPs who have so far failed to take effective steps to stop illegal filesharing marks a significant development in the BPI campaign – allowing the record industry to deal with a greater volume of cases more quickly and efficiently. BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson said, "We have demonstrated in the courts that unauthorised filesharing is against the law.
We have said for months that it is unacceptable for ISPs to turn a blind eye to industrial-scale copyright infringement. We are providing Tiscali and Cable & Wireless with unequivocal evidence of copyright infringement via their services. It is now up to them to put their house in order and pull the plug on these people."
The BPI’s evidence has been gathered using the unauthorised filesharing networks themselves. Whenever an individual uses a filesharing network they reveal the unique IP address for the internet account being used at that time. The BPI is able to identify from the IP address which ISP provides the service.
But only the ISP knows to which individual the IP address belongs. The BPI has identified 17 Tiscali IP addresses and 42 Cable & Wireless IP addresses which have been used to upload significant quantities of music owned by BPI members. It is requesting that the ISPs suspend the accounts of the 59 individuals until they sign undertakings agreeing to stop unauthorised filesharing. BPI General Counsel Roz Groome said,
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The BPI is the trade association for the UK record industry