UK ISPs to start sending Pirates letters

A group of UK ISPs will soon send written warnings to account holders associated with IPs suspected of accessing illegally shared files. The only ISPs to have publicly agreed to the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme, the active portion of the Creative Content UK initiative from BPI, so far are the big four, namely Sky, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. It is unclear if their subsidiary companies (such as BT's Plusnet) are included, and only Virgin Media has gone into any detail as to how the process will work. The announcement made regular mention that the emails were not threats or demands, but educational emails to push users towards legal content access methods (such as Netflix and Spotify), assuring that proposals for a scheme similar to the US' six strike scheme to cut internet access to repeat offenders have been abandoned.

Pirate Party Communications Infrastructure Spokesperson Jason Winstanley said:

"The Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme has been mooted since 2014, and until now we had no real idea what it would entail. It's great that the proposals to cut internet access altogether because of these strikes have been abandoned, but what's stopping the government, or even rights holders, from demanding ISPs hand over this information to them?

"We have consistently seen that file sharers are actually helping the digital economy. When content creators provide an honesty-box type system, allowing customers to "pay what you want", we often give over three times the Recommended Retail Price (RRP), and even Ofcom's figures show for every 16 pounds normal users spend, file sharers pay 26 pounds. ISPs should not be entertaining the myth that piracy is actually a problem and following this money wasting exercise, but instead should focus on what value they can be adding or what their customers are really asking for."


About Pirate Party UK
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party now has one representative in local  government and is looking to build support from the grass roots.
Find out more about the UK Pirate Party at or contact [email protected]

Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 23:00
Jason Winstanley

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