Virgin Media’s Filesharing Tracking System

This is an interesting article about Virgin Media’s trial of its new filesharing monitoring system.  It says that right now they are using this technology merely to gather information about the amount of copyright infringing filesharing that’s occuring in the UK, and that the data they collect will be anonymous.  It may be anonymous right now, but what does the future hold for this monitoring system?  Will the British government eventually use it to prosecute copyright infringers?

From the article:

“To begin with at least, Virgin Media’s implementation will focus on music sharing. The ISP is preparing a legal download service in partnership with Universal, the largest of the four major record labels, which it hopes will be the “carrot” to Lord Mandelson’s “stick” of technical measures against those who persistently infringe copyright.

“Understanding how consumer behaviour is changing will be an important requirement of Virgin Media’s upcoming music offering and, should they become law, the Government’s legislative proposals will also require measurement of the level of copyright infringement on ISPs’ networks,” said Jon James, Virgin Media’s executive director of broadband.”

 

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One Response to “Virgin Media’s Filesharing Tracking System”

  1. My worry with monitoring of this sort is mis-diagnosis of communications. In the past I’ve heard that things like backups and other file transfers have been mis-identified. Also I think many people sharing music online encrypt their connections so identifying illegal content surely will be a nightmare! I hope ISPs don’t simply start blocking people because they “might” be doing something they don’t approve of.

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