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UPDATE TalkTalk Business Sends USA Piracy Warning Notice to UK Customer

Monday, August 18th, 2014 (8:19 am) - Score 2,862

Internet provider TalkTalk Business has allegedly taken the seemingly unusual decision to forward a USA sourced copyright infringement notice from Warner Bros., which concerns a suspected attempt to share the recent Godzilla movie over P2P (BitTorrent), to a customer via its sibling ISP Opal Solution.

The situation is unusual for a number of reasons, not least because the notice that TalkTalk wants Opal to forward is not formatted in either the way required by the recently agreed Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (here) or the prior court case between GoldenEye and O2 that somewhat set the standard for such communications (here). In addition, the notice makes reference to USA laws that do not apply in the UK.

According to TorrentFreak, TalkTalk’s email to Opal included a copy of the copyright infringement notice from WB’s copyright enforcement partner IPEchelon and finished by saying, “Please inform your client and take necessary preventative measures“. It should be noted that TF’s article references Opal Solutions as a “reseller“, although they were acquired by TalkTalk’s business division some years ago and have since largely ceased being a separate entity.

At this stage it’s unclear whether Opal/TT chose to pass the full notice on to the end-user as requested or what “preventative measures” could have been taken. Historically ISPs have tended not to send such notices unless ordered by a UK court of law and in those cases it’s usually the Rights Holder, under a strictly agreed format (e.g. the GoldenEye case linked above), that sends the letter and not the ISP itself.

The new voluntary (VCAP) system, which is due to go live in the very near future, somewhat changes this dynamic but must also follow a strict non-threatening and more educational format. A copy of WB’s original notice is pasted below.

WB’s Copyright Infringement Notice

We are writing this message on behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc..

We have received information that an individual has utilized the below-referenced IP address at the noted date and time to offer downloads of copyrighted material.

The title in question is: Godzilla

The distribution of unauthorized copies of copyrighted television programs constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, Title 17 United States Code Section 106(3). This conduct may also violate the laws of other countries, international law, and/or treaty obligations.

Since you own this IP address we request that you immediately do the following:

1) Contact the subscriber who has engaged in the conduct described above and take steps to prevent the subscriber from further downloading or uploading Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. content without authorization; and

2) Take appropriate action against the account holder under your Abuse Policy/Terms of Service Agreement.

On behalf of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., owner of the exclusive rights in the copyrighted material at issue in this notice, we hereby state that we have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., its respective agents, or the law.

Also, we hereby state, under penalty of perjury, that we are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the exclusive rights being infringed as set forth in this notification.

We appreciate your assistance and thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Your prompt response is requested.

Any further enquiries can be directed to copyright@ip-echelon.com

Please include this message with your enquiry to ensure a swift response.

Respectfully,

Adrian Leatherland
CEO
IP-Echelon
Email: copyright@ip-echelon.com
Address: 6715 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, 90028, United States

The end of the notice also includes details about the specific torrent file itself, which among other things shows that the movie was shared on 13th August 2014. In this instance we’ve elected not to post those details here in case they fall foul of the automated DMCA spamming censorship systems used by Rights Holders, although you can see it over at TF.

We are currently communicating with TalkTalk in the hope of gaining some clarity and will report back in due course.

UPDATE 12:11am

We’re still waiting for TalkTalk to complete its investigation, but in the meantime a Nigerian singer (yes they do other things over there than send spam emails) called Stella Monye has come up with a new solution to fighting piracy – finger amputation.

Cutting their fingers off will stop them, by the time you cut off two people’s fingers others will stop,” said Monye before adding (here), “If their fingers are cut, they won’t be able to use the hands in pirating the works. They will learn and it will be faster in stopping them, without a drastic measure they won’t stop.”

It’s not quite the “education programme” we envisaged, but no doubt some Rights Holders would probably still agree with this approach.

Leave a Comment
12 Responses
  1. Avatar DanielM says:

    As a service provider myself all DMCA notices are deleted. I do not obey us laws. i obey uk laws.

    1. Avatar adslmax says:

      Well said.

    2. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Good to hear Daniel. I imagine if you wanted you could gain customers just from that statement 🙂

  2. Avatar Colin says:

    I think that Warner Bros notice was automated.

    The US may think that their laws apply around the world, but they are wrong. Here in Europe, UK government is making a stand with the American US Internet companies. As they constantly disobeying the European laws and regulations. So why do we have to abide the USA.

    I’m with the above comment from DanielM, unless it come from the UK courts or from European regulators. Ignore it and chuck it in the bin.

  3. Avatar Captain Cretin says:

    I believe that under US law, if you ignore three copyright warnings, they are allowed to launch a drone strike against the IP’s physical location.

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      LOL and then accidentally pick on the wrong location and fire a missile at uncle bob who never did anything except his weekly shop online.

  4. Avatar john says:

    why would people in uk listen to the American laws saying that thick shit Cameron and the others are trying to get the uk like America .

  5. Avatar timeless says:

    lets just pray the trans atlantic trade deal “Doesnt” go through.. because that really would mean american law could apply here, from what lve read businesses could essentially run the country as the bill pretty much gives corporate interests more power that the government (tho it depends on how you look at it)).

  6. Avatar James Harkin says:

    Why, if I purchase a product from the US, do I need to pay VAT? I don’t get it…

    1. Avatar X66yh says:

      Because if import VAT was not applied then foreign imports would be much cheaper than ‘home produced’ products.
      That would result in just about everyone producing/supplying anything in the UK/EU going bust and the rest of us then buying 100% of everything from abroad…..not good for the domestic economy.
      So applying VAT at the place of import into the EU/UK helps to level the playing field to home based manufacturers/suppliers.

  7. Avatar james says:

    Spend £10 get a seedbox and put 2 fingers up to them

    I upload for a community – until you stop screwing me with high prices I will continue to screw you by passing it on.

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