Sky Broadband Customers Hit By Speculative Piracy Letters

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Piracy, virus © Mopic Shutterstock 2012
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Are you a Sky broadband customer? Did you illegally download The Company You Keep? TCYK is relying on you to admit it

Some Sky broadband customers have been sent speculative letters accusing them of pirating The Company You Keep, a 2012 film starring Robert Redford, Shia LaBouef and Susan Sarandon, in the hope the recipients will pay a settlement to avoid court action.

According to TorrentFreak, TCYK LLC obtained a court order against Sky earlier this year, requiring the provider to supply details of customers suspected of piracy. Sky wrote to the bill-payers in question, advising that TCyK would likely be in contact.

The first letters have now been sent out and ask the recipients to respond to the claims so TCUK can propose a “settlement”.

Piracy allegations

Piracy © Atlaspix Shutterstock 2012TCYK admits it has no proof, and IP addresses are deemed to be unreliable evidence, so the firm is hoping to force an admission of guilt or that the bill-payer will accuse another person of committing the alleged act.

Recipients are under no obligation to respond and TorrentFreak says anything that is sent would be used by TCYK in an attempt to secure a payment.

“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, however it is worth pointing out that TCYK is relying on customer data from 2015 – two years after the alleged copyright infringement.

“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.

“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.”

Don’t tell him Pike

Citizen’s Advice says if the bill-payer did not commit the alleged offence and did not authorise anyone on their connection to do so either, they were not liable.

“Allowing others to use your internet connection does not make you responsible for their actions of copyright infringement,” it advises. “You are only responsible for other people’s infringement if you have specifically authorized their acts of copyright infringement. It is not enough that you have authorised others to use your internet connection.”

In 2012, 900 O2 Broadband customers were advised they could receive claims for up to £700 from pornographer Ben Dover over alleged copyright infringement. Due to the difficulty of using IP addresses and peer-to-peer sharing information as court evidence, experts suggested that letter recipients keep calm, do not admit their guilt and under no circumstances agree to settle.

Sky had not responded to TechWeekEurope’s requests for comment at the time of publication

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