04 July 2008

UK - Virgin admits disconnection threat mistake

(OUT-LAW News)
Virgin Media has said that a threat sent out to 800 of its customers that they could be disconnected from the internet because of alleged copyright infringement was a mistake. The envelope containing a letter warning subscribers that their account was being used for illegal file-sharing was printed with the words "Important. If you don't read this, your broadband could be disconnected". A Virgin Media spokeswoman told OUT-LAW that the message was a mistake. "We are not accusing our customers of doing anything, we are alerting them to the fact that illegal file sharing has been tracked to their account. This could have been someone else in the house or an unsecured wireless network. This is an education campaign," she said. The company has shared information with music rights holders' group the BPI in order to identify accounts which may have been used for copyright-infringing file sharing. The spokeswoman said, though, that no names or addresses were passed to the BPI and that it had been responsible for the envelope, a mistake that it was "rectifying immediately".