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People Telecom gets piracy warning

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MediaSentry and the Business Software Alliance, which act for sections of the recording and software industries in stopping online piracy, respectively, have requested ISPs to clamp down on illegal file-sharing activity. If no action is taken, legal action would be taken.

Australia's People Telecom is one such ISP which has received numerous warnings. However, Telstra's BigPond, the country's largest ISP, has received none.

"We get hundreds of them, all the time. Every ISP does," said People Telecom CEO Ryan O'Hare, adding that the company has been receiving such e-mails since it launched 18 months ago.

A BigPond spokesperson said the company "did not believe it had received any such e-mail". At press time, other large Internet service providers including Optus, iiNet, Internode, Netspace and Westnet did not comment on whether they too had been targeted.

Upon receiving notices from anti-piracy organisations, People Telecom would merely forward the e-mails to customers in question and request for an end to such activities. The company's action is in line with its standard service agreement, which states that customers may not use its network to infringe intellectual property rights.

In two e-mails obtained by ZDNet Australia , the ISP said: "Please be advised that we have received a copyright infringement notice against an IP address identified as belonging to your account.

"We request that you check your PC for a virus and/or cease immediately from downloading copyright material. Should you fail to comply with this request within 48 hours, further action may be taken against you."

O'Hare said it was his belief that some ISPs didn't react to the e-mails, "because they say it's not their responsibility", but some -- such as his own company -- do.

"We always have, and it's part of the Copyright Act," he said. "We're trying to do the right thing."

People Telecom is currently involved in a court case resulted from a raid on the premises of its subsidiary Swiftel this March. The Music Industry Piracy Investigations has alleged that Swiftel hosted and maintained two servers providing access to copyrighted material via the BitTorrent application, which is enjoying rising popularity in peer-to-peer file-sharing circles.

O'Hare would not confirm whether his company was currently monitoring its users' traffic for copyright infringements due to the restrictions of the Swiftel court proceedings.


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