UK ISPs Profit From Invading Customer Privacy


PiracyPictureISPs in the United Kingdom are making money from the process of anti-piracy groups taking legal action against copyright infringing customers.

When a copyright holder wishes to pursue those infringing their copyright, they must request customer information from their ISP. ISPs are giving up the information, and charging for the privilege.

An executive at FAST, the Federation of Against Software Theft, spoke out about the practice.

“In 2006, we ran Operation Tracker in which we identified about 130 users who were sharing copies of a security program over the web”.

The end result? 100 names of software pirates in exchange for £12,000 in fees paid to ISPs. Assuming the security program cost the same as the current price for Norton’s Security Suite, it cost FAST around $40 more per person to request data from the ISP than it would have cost them to simply buy the user a copy of the security application.

The UK has followed the United States in the severity of dealing with those who download or share copyright materials online, but again the cost of pursuing pirates seems to be prohibitive compared to simply dropping the price of media.

What do you think?

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Written by Toby Leftly

Toby is a Mac nerd, a hardware nerd and a web nerd, rolled into one. You can find him at Twitter.

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