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PlusNet sympathetic to file sharers

PlusNet sympathetic to file sharers

Plus.net apparently doesn't care what you do with your connection, but like all ISPs they will surrender information when asked by the law.

Davenport Lyons, the legal firm best known for sending out hundreds of letters to people accused of sharing relatively unknown PC game Dream Pinball 3D, is once again demanding money with menaces. Sent on behalf of Codemasters, the latest letters accuse recipients of infringing copyright through sharing copies of popular rally game Colin McRae's DiRT.

This latest wave of anti-piracy proceedings against UK file sharers was first reported by a concerned user in the newsgroup uk.legal on November 22nd.

In an interesting twist to the usual way these stories break, an employee of ISP PlusNet has taken the decision to make a post on the official PlusNet blog detailing an insiders perspective of the case and his take on file sharing in general.

The letters sent by Davenport Lyons are the traditional claims of illegality followed by a demand for damages to the tune of £537 to “[compensate] our client for its losses.” The evidence for such infringement has been provided to Davenport Lyons by Swiss anti-piracy firm Logistep AG, who collected times, dates and IPs via use of a modified version of the popular Shareazaa file-sharing program.

Davenport Lyons used this to obtain a court order requiring ISPs to match the data to customer records and disclose the identities of those accused. While this is hardly uncommon, it is usual for an ISP to remain quiet after such an event so as not to worry their customers about the security of their personal data. PlusNet have broken with tradition, and the blog entry that results makes for interesting reading.

Written by Dave Tomlinson, a member of the PlusNet Product Team, the post makes the point that it isn't the job of an ISP to “police” what an individual user is downloading; indeed, the official stance as presented by Dave is that if you are downloading a file without the permission of the copyright holder “then that’s a choice that you make for your own Internet connection.” However, they are also well aware that the day after popular TV shows like Heros and Lost are shown in the states, there is a large spike in bandwidth use.

Dave also provides a handy list of reasons why being caught with your hand in the cookie jar might not be your fault, with examples including “whether another member of their household/workplace downloaded it or whether it was done via an insecure network” and the possibility of “trojans that can allow someone to gain remote access to a PC without the owner’s knowledge” being the reason you shouldn't have to stump up the readies.

While not going as far as condoning the practice of sharing copyright material (a stance which I'm sure would rapidly make Dave an ex-employee), Dave certainly makes it clear that he doesn't agree with the heavy-handed tactics favoured by the RIAA and MPAA in the US and Davenport Lyons here in the UK. He ends the article with a warning that this isn't the only request PlusNet have had for customer data recently, and predicts an increase in these cases over the next few months.

The full post is available on PlusNet's traffic management blog.

Is Davenport Lyons nothing more than a bully with a court order? Should Codemasters be thankful for the interest in their game? Have you received a demand for compensation for sharing files? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

13 Comments

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Amon 7th December 2007, 17:20 Quote
These are cool dudes for and ISP; very honest. I respect that...

http://sablog.com/wp-content/AliG_respectnew.jpg
BIG UP YO'SELF. RESPEKT.
xrob 7th December 2007, 18:39 Quote
its a scam to get more subscribers, plusnet have been in a lot of trouble in the past because of poor service, maybe the bt take over actually worked. enta for the win.
centy 7th December 2007, 19:54 Quote
PlusNet have always been honest.
They where one of the first to announce their use of traffic shaping hardware, the first to lay out in clear terms how much you can download before you are restricted and the first to say exactly which protocols will be restricted and by how much and when. lol.

Basically they tell it as it is. They also have a wealthof info about ADSL and common topics on there site, aswell as a great community for both current and ex member. ( hello plusnetters )
They are still one of the best ISPs in my view.
Thankfully be*unlimited arrived in my exchange to provide unlimited use ADSL2+ up to 24Mb Up 2.5Mb down.

You can check to see if be*unlimited has arrived at your exchange yet on this page - https://www.bethere.co.uk/

Tell em centy sent you and we both get a free month.
julianmartin 7th December 2007, 21:11 Quote
I can certainly say i would go plusnet over entanet every time. entanet are bloody appalling...all they want to do is fob off every problem to BT. At least plusnet tell you the truth as centy said. While they maybe a bit expensive at least they tell you exactly what they are doing etc etc. Tiscali etc are cheap for a reason!
Cupboard 7th December 2007, 21:21 Quote
I love it how we get a company with a cool name fighting against copyright infringement, where the states have a couple of acronyms.

I wonder when people will realise that having different release dates for TV shows around the world just fuels piracy. I am sure that the number of people downloading Lost/Heroes etc would fall to near zero in the UK if they came out at the same time they did in the US.

Lawsuits like this must be a real waste of resources for the ISP too - having to spend time looking at records of people that have been file sharing can't be that quick.
Lazarus Dark 7th December 2007, 23:49 Quote
See, "renting" bandwidth from an ISP is like renting an apartment.
If my landlord has strong reason to believe I have killed someone (the internet equivilent of say, child pron), then they should report it.
But if they think I just smoke a joint once in a while (the equivilent of dl'ing an mp3), they should stay the hell out of my buisiness.
I think more ISP's should take this stance.

Unfortunately, in the US, the DMCA requires ISP's to do takedowns and such without even involving authorities, just on the word of anyone who requests it. It's like my landlord letting the cable guy into my place just on suspicion of me stealing cable.
Mosey 8th December 2007, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard
Lawsuits like this must be a real waste of resources for the ISP too - having to spend time looking at records of people that have been file sharing can't be that quick.

Yeah and the High Court's time for issuing the RIPA warrant for surveillance of your information. It's actually quite scary when you look what the RIPA makes provision for: http://security.homeoffice.gov.uk/ripa/about-ripa/ and with our government's track record of securely holding onto our data - well i don't really like to think of what sort of information can get into the wrong hands here.

Also, being forced to pay Codemasters money must be a right kick in the teeth. Honestly one of the worst companies about; thinking about it, it doesn't really surprise me that they are bullying people into giving them money - i can't think of anyone who would actually want to pay for the crap they produce.
DXR_13KE 8th December 2007, 18:25 Quote
i really would like to see what would happen to ISPs and the MAFIAA if all types of piracy were to disappear.....
Wicz 8th December 2007, 19:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon
These are cool dudes for and ISP; very honest. I respect that...

http://sablog.com/wp-content/AliG_respectnew.jpg
BIG UP YO'SELF. RESPEKT.


Unfortunately Pusnet ( not a spelling mistake ) are quite possibly the most underhand ISP in the UK with terrible service quality to match. Dave Tomlinson is hoping to attract some of their recently lost customers back obviously.

I wish him the worst of luck ;)
Wicz 8th December 2007, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianmartin
I can certainly say i would go plusnet over entanet every time. entanet are bloody appalling...all they want to do is fob off every problem to BT. At least plusnet tell you the truth as centy said. While they maybe a bit expensive at least they tell you exactly what they are doing etc etc. Tiscali etc are cheap for a reason!

Strange, I have been with Entanet for the last 2 years along with a lot of friends and our service has been excellent. Pusnet are a bunch of cowboys :(

As far as truth goes, Entanet are the most open ISP in the UK as their NOC clearly indicates, pusnet don't know what honesty is.
rhuitron 9th December 2007, 10:09 Quote
These guys are Cool.

The others Are not Bullys with a court order. But ****ing Faggots, With a court order.

And all the other double AA (for anal) fags out there.
xrob 9th December 2007, 16:46 Quote
Quote:
At least plusnet tell you the truth as centy said. While they maybe a bit expensive at least they tell you exactly what they are doing etc etc.
Expensive? what the hell are you on about mate? they have the some of cheapest packages i've seen, you both really need to get a clue.
Quote:
Dave Tomlinson is hoping to attract some of their recently lost customers back obviously.

I wish him the worst of luck ;)

ahah im with you, do you remember all that business of there mailserver getting hacked, and they didnt tell anyone about it for like a month, plusnet are so bad its unreal.
well i guess its working for them though as these idiots seem to be lapping it up, oh well.
cjmUK 10th December 2007, 17:52 Quote
Fair-play to Dave for such a considered stance.

But I'm afraid PlusNet are too discredited to gain any kudos from this.
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