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    Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

    This is a discussion on Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; https://torrentfreak.com/sky-custome...etters-150713/ Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband are being subjected to a new wave of piracy threat letters. The ISP, ...

    1. #1
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      Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      https://torrentfreak.com/sky-custome...etters-150713/
      Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband are being subjected to a new wave of piracy threat letters. The ISP, which is the country's second largest, warned earlier this year that the demands would be forthcoming. Over the past few days they began hitting mailboxes across the UK, as promised.

      Copyright trolls are companies that make a business out of monitoring file-sharing networks for illegal downloads and instead of trying to prevent them, try to cash in instead. In letters sent to alleged file-sharers, copyright trolls use often complex and threatening language in order to imply something terrible will happen if recipients don’t pay between hundreds of pounds and thousands of dollars to make supposed lawsuits go away.

      During September 2014, TorrentFreak became aware of a UK court case titled TCYK LLP v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. TCYK stands for The Company You Keep and is the title of a film of the same name directed and starring Robert Redford, appearing alongside Susan Sarandon and Shia LeBeouf.

      In court, TCYK LLP forced Sky to hand over the names and addresses of subscribers alleged to have downloaded the movie without permission. Earlier this year the ISP warned affected subscribers of what might come next.

      “It’s likely that TCYK LLC will contact you directly and may ask you to pay them compensation,” Sky noted.

      Sky were correct on both counts. Before the weekend TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the letter now being sent out to Sky subscribers by TCYK. It’s the usual framework of veiled and direct threats, designed to intimidate users into handing over hard cash.

      “Our forensic computer analyst has provided us with evidence that on the following UK date and time, [redacted by TF], all or part of the Work was made available from the internet protocol (or IP) address [redacted], specifically for the purpose of downloading by third parties,” the letter reads.

      We have redacted the time and date to protect our source but it is noteworthy that the alleged offense was carried out more than two years ago in April 2013.

      In a common feature of these claims, TCYK go on to admit that they have no proof that a specific person committed the offense and that they have simply targeted the bill payer instead. They then pressure that person to help them build a case.

      “In the event that you were not responsible for the infringing acts outlined above because, for example, another member of your household was the user of the computer, you should make full disclosure to us of the other parties at your residence using your internet connection to make the Work available for download,” TCYK note.

      “A failure to make such disclosure may lead to the claim being made against you with the court being asked to conclude, on the balance of probabilities that you were the user of the computer.”

      Of course, no subscriber is under any obligation to tell TCYK anything and, as we have pointed out before, if the subscriber didn’t carry out the offense and did not authorize anyone using his connection to do so, he or she is not liable under the Copyright Act.

      Also of note is that these days it’s common, considering access for both family and friends, for more than a dozen people to use a residential WiFi. It’s certainly possible (“on the balance of probabilities”) that a court would recognize that too.

      Another common feature of UK cases (and upcoming Aussie cases) is that the courts ask trolls not to ask for money in their first letter. TCYK stick to that format but clearly advise that their next letter will contain a demand.

      After inviting the letter recipient to confess (or snitch on someone else), TCYK says it will arrive at a settlement figure based on what it gets told.

      “We will propose an appropriate figure to you in the subsequent letter after we have received your response to this letter and carefully considered its contents,” TCYK writes.

      “It is therefore in your interests to respond to this letter, because a failure to do so may lead the claimant to invite you to pay a figure which is higher than the amount it might ask for if it is persuaded that any unlawful conduct has been inadvertent or minor.”

      As always, letter recipients are invited to read the Speculative Invoicing Handbook (pdf) and remain acutely aware that everything revealed to companies like TCYK will be used as leverage against them.

      The really wise advice is not to communicate with them at all. UK solicitor Michael Coyle from Lawdit Solicitors is again stepping up to the mark to defend those affected by this latest wave.

      “I’ve been sent many emails from people who have received a letter of claim from TCYK. The letters are very similar in format to the letters sent in previous campaigns and once again assume that copyright infringement based on the identity of the person who pays the bill,” Coyle informs TF.

      “TCYK has paid £32,000 in respect of Sky’s costs and their solicitors costs so that is a considerable sum to recover in terms of damages from those individuals. My advice is to decline to make a payment as copyright infringement cannot be established on the basis set out in the letter.”

      Letter recipients in need of assistance should contact Michael at Lawdit Solicitors. A charitable donation to his fund-raising campaign will secure legal advice.


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    3. #2
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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      An Australian court has put a stop to this 'speculative invoicing':
      Dallas Buyers Club case dealt blow by Australian court - BBC News

      Hopefully it'll catch on over here.

      An Australian court has blocked a US company from accessing details of customers who illegally downloaded the US movie Dallas Buyers Club.

      The company, which owns the rights to the 2013 movie, is seeking compensation from people who pirated the movie.

      But the Federal Court of Australia said the company had to pay a large bond before it could access their data.

      Many Australians regularly illegally download digital content, such as movies.

      'Speculative invoicing'

      Dallas Buyers Club LLC (DBC) said it had identified 4,726 unique IP addresses from which the film was shared online using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network.

      But the Federal Court of Australia said DBC would have to pay A$600,000 ($442,000; £283,000) to obtain customer details.

      In a judgement published on Friday, the court also limited any damages DBC could seek from alleged copyright infringers.

      The ruling will prevent the company from so-called speculative invoicing.

      This is where account holders accused of piracy are threatened with court cases that could result in large damages unless smaller settlement fees are paid.

      Untenable claims

      In April, the court had ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to give DBC details of customers accused of illegally downloading the movie.

      But in May, that order was put on hold, as the court told DBC to show it a copy of the letters it wanted to send to customers.

      Friday's judgement said that even after the court had seen the proposed letters, as well as the scripts DBC staff would follow in phone conversations with alleged infringers, it was unclear how much money the company would ask customers to pay.

      The judgement said DBC wanted to pursue alleged infringers for:

      * the cost of an actual purchase of a copy of the film

      * a "substantial" one-off licence fee for each infringer on the basis they were engaged in the widespread distribution of the film

      * a claim for additional damages

      * a claim for damages arising from the amount of money it had cost DBC to obtain each infringer's name.

      Justice Nye Perram said the second and third requests were "untenable".

      Having seen what DBC proposed to demand under the clauses, and the "potential revenue it might make if it breached its undertaking to the Court not to demand such sums, it seems to me that I should set the bond at a level which will ensure that it will not be profitable for it to do so," he said.

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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      Not whilst the MPAA are paying the wages of the City of London Police!
      jrfer and coipu like this.

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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      it wont stop here, the uk gov is in their pocket.

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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      I don't advocate illegal activity but protect yourselves people, VPN and DENIABLE encryption are getting to be a requirement just to browse the web legally nowadays. Encryption alone is moot, you can get 7 years just for not giving the Popo all your passwords because they "suspect" you of something. Yes I am paranoid, no I do not break applicable laws. Do you think that innocence means you won't be prosecuted? Finally, don't torrent, just don't. I firmly believe they are starting to think of it as a revenue stream they don't even need to rent a server for their honeypots. Public trackers are like going out to steal hamburgers dressed as hamburglar.

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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      Quote Originally Posted by coipu View Post
      I don't advocate illegal activity but protect yourselves people, VPN and DENIABLE encryption are getting to be a requirement just to browse the web legally nowadays. Encryption alone is moot, you can get 7 years just for not giving the Popo all your passwords because they "suspect" you of something. Yes I am paranoid, no I do not break applicable laws. Do you think that innocence means you won't be prosecuted? Finally, don't torrent, just don't. I firmly believe they are starting to think of it as a revenue stream they don't even need to rent a server for their honeypots. Public trackers are like going out to steal hamburgers dressed as hamburglar.
      this is going to happen to allot of users soon if there going to avoid been caught they will use encryption and goodness knows what to keep downloading illegally.

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      Re: Sky Customers Receive New Movie Piracy Threat Letters

      Well each time a country decides to place a cart blanche ban on some kind of site the sales of VPNs in that country jump hugely.

      So I guess that it is quite pointless to keep blocking these sites and writing to others for downloading things.
      Last edited by Scubbie; 20-08-15 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Correct typo

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