Virgin Media and the BPI (the British music industry association) have joined forces in a new anti-piracy campaign which targets alleged illegal file sharers who will be sent warning notifications.
The campaign will follow a two-warning-letters-approach; one sent by Virgin Media and the other one “signed” by the BPI. However, contrary to expectations, no “three strikes” process is included for now. Those who don’t cease their illegally file sharing activity will not get disconnected.
The role of the BPI will be to thoroughly monitor BitTorrent behaviour and report to Virgin Media the suspect IP addresses. Yet, Virgin insists that no confidential information will be given to the British music trade group.
The letters will focus on “how to prevent account misuse”, “avoid the risk of legal action”, and rise awareness to customers about the dangers of p2p networks in terms of viruses and spyware. Check out the Virgin Media letter here and the BPI letter here (both PDFs).
Virgin Media pointed out that numerous account holders may not be aware about their children’s illegal online activities. Virgin also described the campaign as customer-oriented: “We want people to enjoy music online without infringing the rights of musicians and music companies. This campaign is about helping our customers understand how they can do this.”
The BPI has recently conducted a successful lobbying campaign due to which the ISP industry found itself under huge government demands to reach an agreement with the UK group. The BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor declared:
“Education is absolutely key to reducing the extent of illegal downloading” (…) “We believe that new partnerships with ISPs can help build an internet in which music is properly valued. That will benefit not just musicians, songwriters and labels, but all internet users who love music. This joint campaign with Virgin Media is the first step towards achieving that goal.”
However, a deal with the BPI was not on the liking of all ISPs. For instance, the Carphone Warehouse, the company supporting broadband provider Talk Talk, publicly declined “the invitation” to disconnect users suspected of illegally sharing copyright content. In return, the BPI tried to intimidate the ISP with future legal action.