BT seeks file-sharing stand down

Leading internet provider BT wants to temporarily halt the requirement for ISPs to hand over details of its customers accused of file-sharing copyrighted material online.

The demand follows a recent data-breach at London law firm ACS:Law that saw thousands of customers’ details from a number of ISPs published online. The company now wants more details of the security measures surrounding the data before it hands over any more information.

The incident involving the ACS:Law data leak has further damaged people’s confidence in the current process,” a spokesman said, as reported by the BBC. We want to ensure broadband subscribers are adequately protected so that rights holders can pursue their claims for copyright infringement without causing unnecessary worry to innocent people.

We have not simply consented to these orders in the past, we have asked for stricter terms as public concern has risen. The data leak with ACS:Law prompted us to take further action today.”

The requirement for ISPs to hand over information was introduced as part of the Digital Economy Act earlier this year. Net companies were uneasy about the part they were required to play in the process, while consumer groups expressed concern about the closed-doors process behind the convictions.

However, entertainment industries – including video games – were almost unanimous in their praise of the proposals, which are intended to limit the growing impact of online piracy.

BT’s case was to be heard in court yesterday but has now been adjourned until January 11th 2011.

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