back to article Virgin Media in talks to trial three strikes regime against P2P

Virgin Media could soon become the second major ISP to attempt to implement a "three strikes" system against illegal filesharers in partnership with the record industry. The cable company is in talks with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to trial a system of warnings, followed by disconnection, for the most persistent …


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  1. Elfoad Regfoad

    On a mission

    Virgin really are on a mission to make friends and influence people aren't they? Would it be quicker if they just publish a list of who they aren't selling my data to?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    A few words come to mind

    ...spineless, accountability, wrong, evidence, privacy... please continue

  3. Neil

    Sharers, not downloaders?

    I hope so, because it's the only way I can watch Lost, after their useless management shafted the whole Sky One debacle.

  4. Martin J Hooper
    Paris Hilton


    Will it effect non pirate p2p? When Fedora and Ubuntu release their latest guess how I'm going to get them...

  5. Andy ORourke

    Maybe they could

    integrate it with the Phorm stuff? check your up/downloads and then if they are legal profile you so that you get more relevant up/downloads in future........

    Thats if they have any customers left of course?

  6. bobbles31

    So long as the BPI pays for it....

    They can do whatever they like to copyright thieves. So long as they don't expect me to pay for it through my Broadband subscription.

    Mines the fireproof one....

    Freetards please affix your flames below...

  7. Jonathan
    Paris Hilton

    What the BPI/RIAA want...

    Is for other companies (Virgin) to nanny users, and prevent them committing nasty acts of piracy, by spying on them, and keeping legitimate P2P programs (eg WoW's update service) from working.

    I'll bet Virgin will be left with the expenses, and the BPI wont even phone the next day to say they still respect Virgin (although that name is a bit of a misnomer, given how Virgin sells itself to the highest bidder, eg Phorm and all of their friends).

    Remember - piracy is as bad or worse than stealing. So next time you want an album, break into your local Virgin Megastore and physically steal it. that way, not only do you get to keep a hard copy in case the BPI seizes your hard drive, but you also get better sound quality and a lighter penalty than if you were caught pirating.

    Paris, because even she would shed a tear upon hearing this.

  8. Jamie

    Will it actually resolve anything

    People will just start using sites like LoveFilm and rip the movie there and trade with friends. The same thing will happen to music.

    If they really want to stop this they should look at cleaning house and charging reasonable prices for what they release.

  9. John P
    Paris Hilton



    I'm guessing (hoping), that they will just download some illegal torrents, start downloading, and then get the IP addresses from the peer list.

    But if they do that, are they not then wondering in to the minefield of entrapment, as they will be facilitating the very crime they are trying to catch you for.

    If that's the method, this could get interesting!

    Also, what they fail to consider is that presently, the only real reason alot of people have for possessing a broadband connection is P2P, illegal or otherwise.

    Any paid-for music or shows are DRM-crippled, although it appears some music download services are coming to their senses over DRM.

    Without P2P, what is the use of hi-speed broadband?

    Paris...why not!

  10. david g

    mea culpa - NOT

    p2p ? dodgy pr0n, fraud, botnets. Virgin can no longer claim to be a carrier. Anything I do which is even slightly dodgy will now be Virgin's fault as they didn't prevent me from doing it.

    Not guilt yer 'onor izzit.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...I guess I won't be needing their 20Mb super-fast broadband then.

    Time to switch to ASDL?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The day they do this I cancel my subscription

    'nuff said.

  13. Cameron Colley

    So it begins...

    Now UK ISP's are responsible for all content that flows through their network, expect censorship and issuing of take-down notices to go through the roof.

    Goodbye internet, you were fun while you lasted.

  14. Iain Purdie

    Simple solution...

    ...go to another ISP. There must be 30 or 40 out there and Virgin suck donkey balls anyway. With their handy "quit any time" clause, you can just tell them to stuff their unreliable service and choose someone else instead.

    I'm also prepared to bet cash money that you'll have to ring a premium rate phone number to protest you innocence should you be genuinely falsely accused. And the person in Bangalore you speak to won't have even heard of P2P, likely thinking you're talking about PSP and saying "this is right sir, you were downloading illegal games".

  15. Anonymous Coward


    I love Virgin with the 20Mbit connection, spend £15pm for unlimited Usenet account with SSL encryption (including commands and headers) that maxes it out at 10MB/s

    As long as they keep focused on the P2P crowd, who are communists by nature anyways and need to be watched. Usenet providers have peering servers in the UK so ISP's don't have to spend any money on external bandwidth or deal with notices from rights groups and expensive bandwidth.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    So BPI or Virgin pretend to be a user and then download a list of IP addresses and that is how they will catch people?

    Why would that be entrapment?

    They would be getting publicly available information if that was the case.

    Is it really that easy to catch people downloading torrents?

  17. Dave Edmondston
    Thumb Down

    This is the equiv of...

    The government forcing car manufacturers to limit their products to 70mph to cut down speeding.

    There should be no way that a private organisation, or an industry, should be doing this sort of work. What's next? Banning pgp (again)? Banning certain ports or protocols? Banning freedom of speech?

    All the ISP seems to get is a list of IPs to warn or cut off; there doesn't seem to be any defence for the punter - what if a IP has been hijacked? What if there's a wrong IP reported? Is the user still liable to complete a contract period with the ISP? Just now, I can see 4 unsecured wireless networks form my flat, and another 10 WEP connections. I guess they'll be the first to be banned from their ISP if anyone here wants an illegal download...

  18. JimC

    > go back to ADSL...

    You won't like it. ADSL doesn't hack it for legal net use either these days: the bloatware even on web pages has got so bad...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The record companies are just reaping the karma they sowed. For years the record companies ripped everyone off (including the artists themselves not just the consumers). Especially so here in the UK where, even taking into account currency fluctuations, albums were often 50% or more expensive than in the US. The government refused to do anything about this legalised "theft" by the record companies.

    As for virgin media, well, with this in addition to the Phorm saga, I guess they have decided they want to lose a few hundred thousand customers. Way to go beardy!

  20. Naich


    Cough *Peerguardian* cough cough

  21. Mike Crawshaw

    Re: "Legal" Downloads

    re a couple of queries above on WoW updates, Linuz distros etc.

    The BPI are informing Virgin of the details of people dowloading material that they hold the copyright to. They join (e.g.) a torrent swarm for an item they believe they hold the rights to (e.g. the latest Britney album, based on filename) and make notes of the IP addresses that are also downloading the item in question. Once downloaded, they check the item to ensure that it is something they hold the rights to. They then pass the IP addresses for other parties who downloaded the item to the ISP.

    So, **in theory**, it shouldn't affect anything that doesn't belong to the BPI, such as Linux distros etc.

    The thing you need to worry about there is Virgin using their "network management" on you if you download more than they say you can whilst you're paying for "unlimited" (subject to undisclosed Fair Use Policy).

    (no, I don't agree with what the BPI / Virgin are doing here, but let's keep it in perspective, huh?)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A title is required.

    Any pirate worth thier patch knows about IP filters.. I doubt that there are many Corp IP's not listed already, when its P2P its C2C only.

  23. jai

    non-static ip numbers

    but, i don't have a static ip with VM - i've no idea if it changes very often, but it's definately not static

    so what are the odds that someone spends all saturday giving away gigabytes of music files and then sunday, Virgin blip their DNS or whatever and then i connect and get assigned the IP that the P2Per previously used, and i get the bill for billions in lost copyright?

    is it worth me keeping record of every IP address i'm assigned and in which i was connected, so that should i find myself wrongly accused, i've got records which should match Virgin's own?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This is a title, alright?

    Isn't it about time someone created a torrent client that didn't broadcast its ip address to everyone, or at least enrypted it in some way?

    BTW: if this already exists, post a link please :)

    Anon to avoid the black choppers of ProstituteMedia - newly rebranded!

  25. Pensare
    Gates Horns

    What a waste of money.

    If, for the sake of argument, a person was in a position to download material with which they would engorge their eyes and ears; Throwing copyright cares to the wind, because it's free......

    Do you really think, that that kind of person, is suddenly going to go out and buy everything they currently pirate? This is a no-brainer - its mostly kids without any money, one glance at the torrent comments tells you that.

    I have an enormous cupboard of paid for DVDs, and a huge rack of paid for audio cds, and computer games. I pay for most of them via Steam, perfectly legally even though I can get them from a torrent in 6 hours for free. I am not going to spend any more money on that stuff than I currently do, whether they stop me from DLing torrents or not.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    3 strikes is a great way to get out of a contract!

    Cursing your isp? Stuck in a 12 month contract?

    Get 3 strikes and you're free! ;)

  27. James

    They'll never do it

    Shop their own customers that is.

    What does VM get out of this? Clearly it's not money from the BPI.

    The broadband market is unbelievably competetitive in the UK. It's *really* not going to be good for business the first time a story hits the press that a 13 year old school-girl was imprisoned / handed a £20,000 fine because VM handed over her details.

    This is the usual waffle from the BPI. It would be a huge risk to Virgin with no conceivable benefit. Why would they do it?

  28. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    I didn't see anything about virgin actually inspecting traffic though only enforcing the rule if the bpi or whoever inform them a virgin ip was connected to a dodgy torrent, big whoop to me- torrents suck anyway,

    paris as shes keeping it SSL + usenet flavoured

  29. Barrie Shepherd

    Snail Mail?

    My friend in a far flung country with a less invasive ISP will just have to download to a DVD and post it to me. Bugger I hear that the BPI have asked the Post Office to scan all mail for DVD content – now your friendly postman will know what sort of porn you are interested in.

    More seriously why are ISP’s put in this position they should argue, up to the Lords if necessary, that they do no different a job to the “Royal” Mail, only a bit faster.

  30. Sean Ellis

    Note the weasel-wording.

    "participating in copyright-infringing peer to peer networks"


    "participating in illegal copyright infringement"

    So... if you happen to use to get your perfectly legal Linux distros, the wording as reported *still* counts that as one of your three strikes.

  31. Steve

    @ MichaelG

    "So BPI or Virgin pretend to be a user and then download a list of IP addresses and that is how they will catch people?

    Why would that be entrapment?"

    What they do is start the torrent downloading and then note the IP addresses of the computers they connect to as part of the swarm.

    Because when they connect to the swarm they will also be downloading and uploading. If they are making the file available for other people to download, then they enticing people to commit the crime of downloading. "Making available for download" is what they've tried to hit people with when they've sued.

    If they argue that they aren't in breach of copyright because they have the permission of the rights holder, they are admitting that anyone downloading the file from them is also legal as it has been legally made available by the rigths holder. As they will be offering the file to all of the IP addresses that they collect (they'll want to make sure that they can prove the file is being downloaded), there could be an embarrassing loophole in this.

    "Is it really that easy to catch people downloading torrents?"

    Only if it's using a public tracker as opposed to a private tracker or the client isn't set up to report a false IP to the tracker or the person isn't using an anonymous proxy.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Neil

    re: The only way you can get Lost.

    There is the option of paying for it by getting Sky, buying the inevitable DVD box set or waiting for it to come to terrestrial TV (not sure if it still does that, mind)

  34. Pat

    Wonder if the BPI know about this then

    Found this on Digital Spy forums. Gotta laugh, entcha. ISTR Highwinds are something to do with Easynews.

    Posted in the VM newsgroups:

    Hi all,

    We've been working on unifying the newsgroup solutions used by our

    Internet customers, and are now in the position to announce a beta

    trial of the new newsgroup service.

    If you want to point your news client at:


    You can now try out the beta newsgroup server. If you need any help

    with how to configure your news client, have a look on our website:


    Once the beta trial has finished (we'll let you know when), we'll be

    proceeding with turning off the old news server feeds (excluding

    news-text, more on this below) and diverting people to use the new

    server, followed by the decommissioning of the old servers at a later


    The unified newsgroup solution is an outsourced platform provided for

    us by Highwinds as a result of our agreeing a unified contract renewal

    with Highwinds - who we have worked with for a number of years.

    The approach we have taken with newsgroup unification is to take the

    "best of both" of the previous legacy services, in order to offer

    customers access to the maximum number of newsgroups (excluding those

    that we can't carry for legal or regulatory reasons), with good levels

    of completion and for minimum retention of articles (at least 7 days

    for binary articles, 90 days for text articles & 120 days for the

    internal groups).

    Please do feel free to use the beta service now, and let us know (in of any issues you experience, or of any

    feedback (in

    Many thanks



    Alex Brown

    Senior Product Manager

    Product Management, Virgin Media

  35. Gilbert Wham

    Dear Oh Dear

    Sooooooo, I cut down on my monthly bandwidth bill, use that extra budget to rent a seedbox in, say, Sweden and use that for torrenting, then transfer the files to me via FTP, yes? I've been meaning to switch to a seedbox for ages now - as my ISP isn't run by dangerous lunatics, I haven't bothered my arse yet, but maybe I should get ahead of the curve...

  36. Mark

    @Mike Crawshaw

    However, I wish to make available the music I have at home to play at work.

    Because of company liability, I cannot copy the CD's on my work machine. Because I don't know WHAT I want to listen to until I see how the day is going, I can't have my CD's here at work and moving them back and forth is going to scratch and damage them (which, since I don't have any legal ability to make CD copies, and despite this only being LICENSED rather than OWNED, I only have that one copy).

    So I've set up P2P to allow me do download my music directly from my home machine to my work machine. With the added advantage that if I have to move desk or computer (after all, the computer is not mine: it's the companies, so I can change machine without being asked or informed) I can still access my computer.

    It is stated that this connection is for my use only.

    So if BPI were to connect, they would be accessing my computer without my consent. Additionally, they would be making copies of music that they own, so no legal issue on my side there either.

    So how do they get to punish me for hacking into my computer and copying stuff they have every right to do so if it were allowed on my behalf anyway?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    They're called Virgin because its the customers who get screwed.

  38. Tom Toughill

    No Brainer....

    Err.... So I guess no one has heard of encryption then... Will they be inspecting IP adresses? or actual packet data? Imagine keeping track of the IP used by torrents? Then you have to look at the data surely? Encryption would make that impossible (depending on strength of course)... I mean it can't be that simple can it? I don't think any ISP can force you to send data unsecured. How would you buy things online then.

    Seems to be a simple solution. If they do push this then all that will happen is child porn etc will be harder to find.

  39. Neil


    >re: The only way you can get Lost.


    >There is the option of paying for it by getting Sky, buying the inevitable DVD box >set or waiting for it to come to terrestrial TV (not sure if it still does that, mind)

    Good points, and very true. But I can't get a satellite dish where I live - cable (or freeview) is my only choice.

    As for Boxsets, that'd cost me £80 when I used to get it in the price of my TV subscription. And I'd have to wait months, avioding spoilers. I may even still buy the boxset - I've got 2 of them already, I'm just waiting for the initial daft price to drop.

  40. Neil

    Another point

    What makes it illegal, anyway?

    If I miss an episode of, whatever, or if I record it on my V+ but it buggers the recording, why can't I go and download a copy of it? Nobody is losing out here - I have the right to watch the program as I have paid my TV subscription, I have the right to record the program. The hardware even lets me archive it to DVD. But I can't download it via P2P?

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Not a Virgin

    Seems to me like a perfect example of The Strumpet Group placing its own music interests ahead of its customers' privacy.

  42. James


    Giganews + SSL = problem solved.

    This however does not solve the problem of throttling.

  43. Tom Toughill


    “ISPs are under huge government pressure to agree to the scheme, or face legislation”

    Some cynics may misread that line as:

    “Those ISP who behave and fall into line, will be given lucrative government contracts.”

  44. pAnoNymous
    Black Helicopters

    Not all Virgin's Fault

    ISPs have been warned by the government to take action voluntarily or the government will create laws to enforce them and it looks like VM were the first to blink. To be honest I'd sill rather it was left to the government, at least then we get a say at the election box and I'm still not convinced the government would want to go after a large proportion of the population (apparently).

    I wonder what happens if you're on a quad play service with Virgin Media. Do they only disconnect your broadband? What if you're on a bundle? It could end up costing Virgin quite a bit of money, with no return.

    And I wonder what the appeals process will be, after all we've seen from the US that record companies can get it very wrong, after all just because your IP address is in a swarm it doesn’t mean it's you doing the downloading. Then again I'm sure the ISP will argue it's up to you to insure that your connection is not used for copyright infringement.

    At the end of the day a lot of people are paying more for the broadband connection/quad play service than they ever did in buying CDs/tapes in the good old days. The economics of the 21st century are changing with people more willing to buy into a service than paying one off charges for products so hopefully a compromise can soon be found.

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Simple answer to this...

    Anyone who is a subscriber of Virgin Media simply gets together on a message board and decides on a download day. Every single subscriber, for that day, downloads as much content as possible, sharing it across the network. What next? Sue us all?

    A similar scheme worked in France when it came to clamping cars (everyone simply left their cars clamped and no one could move or park so the government backed down). Okay, not quite similar, but you get the point!

  46. gothicform

    Double Standards

    So does this mean I can have VM cut off every single person who visits a website that has breached my copyright and downloaded material from it... eg photographs? Oh wait, they only care about copyright infringement if it is music or movies!

  47. Joe

    Could the BPI bring down real crime?

    How about we put the people behind BPI in charge of the Police? If they tracked down and dealt with the real criminal elements that blight society (muggers, robbers, yobs beating innocents up "for a laugh" etc) with the same single minded dedication they have for bringing some kid sharing songs to trial, then the true crime rate in the country could plummet.

  48. bob
    Thumb Up

    What you looking at ?!!

    European Human Rights Act


    Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

    There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Now forgive me if Im wrong but neither the BMI or VM are "public authority" and therefore they are infringing my Human Rights by looking at my correspondance and Im sure a good lawyer could get me a few quid for the "damges"

  49. pAnoNymous

    Re: Simple answer to this...

    Except that the whole point of this is make examples of people to deter others. I'm not sure if it’d be allowed to do that through the legal system (at least not as obviously) but it looks like this is going to remain a civil/contract matter between you and VM.

    Re: Could the BPI bring down real crime?

    Not unless you started convicting people on circumstantial evidence, because that's all the BPI need to try and get you disconnected.

    Re: What you looking at ?!!

    It looks like there are enough exclusions in the Human Rights Act for just about any eventuality and to be fair it doesn't seem to have stopped this sort of behaviour in other European countries, thus far.

  50. Ben Robinson


    So stupid. When are they simply going to realise that it's too late? We have digitally replicatable 'art' now and that's that. The cat is out of the bag and it's time for them to shut up and sort their business models out.

    I am neither pro nor anti-copyright, this is how it is and you can't really do a lot about it.

    Up the quality to price ratio of their 'art' output and you may find more people willing to pay.


  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    just to be clear

    what if you start downloading via torrent an album (zipped or rar'ed for example), then before it is complete you stop the download. Are you guilty of downloading the album? Even though you don't have enough of it to use it? Are you not actually innocent until you have all of it? Do you have to use it first to be guilty? What if you download it, then having decided that it is worth your money you go and buy it? Are you still guilty then? The amount of albums i've shelled out for in the past that have had say, two good songs and ten lots of toss doesn't bear thinking about. Having had the option to try before you buy would have saved me a fortune, but then I suppose that's not in their interests, is it?

  52. Mike Crawshaw

    @ Mark: sharing with yourself

    Mark - seems a very convoluted way of having music at work! Personally, I carry a USB Flash Drive with a bunch music pre-loaded - 4GB covers the majority of the stuff I'll want to listen to whatever my mood.


    I wasn't defending Virgin / BPI in any way. Just stating how their "system" is working in response to people panicking about their Linux distros, WoW patches etc etc etc.

    How your scenario (or others from the thousands of "what if?" possibilities) would work, I have no idea...

  53. Grant Mitchell
    Paris Hilton

    funny thing is....

    Virgin used to advertise their speed in terms of how much music you could download. In fact, still on their about traffic shaping page they say for each package how much you could be affected, e.g.:

    "Even if a Broadband Size: XL user has their speed temporarily traffic managed, they can still download over 25,000 music files per day."


    I mean ffs, be consistent! I believe they have their own music sharing site, but alas, when I checked it was windoze only.

    Oh, and lost can be legal purchased from iTunes, DRM (for your convenience ;) ) 'n' all... again if your box supports it....

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sign the petition ..

  55. Chad H.

    @ the get out of contract free-tards

    you may want to reread your contract, I'm fairly sure you'll find it says you agree not to use your connection for illegal purposes, and if you do they can not just cut you off, but make you pay all the termination fees as if you called in to cancel yourself

  56. Guy Heatley
    Thumb Down

    Infringment of human rights - absolutely.

    I can't believe that people are prepared to stand by whilst an organisation that protects the revenue of a small number of commercial companies, insists that all our private data is inspected for their benefit!

    Imagine if all your mail was interfered with and inspected by the postal service at the behest of a commercial third party!

    Why is this this even considered for a fraction of a second, to be acceptable in a so-called free and democratic country?!

  57. Anonymous Coward

    They killed freedom, the bastards!


    So Virgin want to sell my browsing habits, against my will (mainly due to goat pr0n disorders), to a spyware company.

    Virgin also want to suspend my human right to "no punishment without trial" and even chooses not to bother with a civil level of proof of on the balance of probabilities.

    Virgin also want me to continue paying them craps loads of money every month.

    Guess which one wont be happening if either of the other two do?

    I really don't do piracy but them i am not the only one who uses this connection, so as the bil payer, ill just either have to kcik them off to be safe or more likely just move to another ISP. Of course that will mean my TV and Phone as well as broadband go too. Obviously ill also move my parents TV phone and ISP as well as i pay for that one too. I wouldn't need to, but i'd do it just to spite Virgin.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Data packet inspection systems

    Interesting debate in comments above. A real catch 22 situation.

    Governments want the ISPs to police illegal downloads. ISPs want to earn revenue from mining through data packet inspection. Without the ability to inspect the data packets, the ISPs can't police the downloads - see debate above re IP address spoofing. For those who think that proxies hide their IP address: they don't really, just give a longer trail.

    I can't remember where I downloaded it from (FrontPorch?) but if you can find and download ScreenPlays_0308_Front_Porch_Article2.pdf published by you will find on page 2:

    "... They need, as in the case of the application implemented by Ohio cable operator Massillon Cable TV, to be able to notify subscribers engaged in illegal file transfers that they have been violating content rights as well as the ISP's terms of service."

    The big problem with all this spyware [data mining] that is marrying with the ad networks is that it is giving the ISPs added 'value' without them having to invest anything in the technology. Venture capital is investing millions in the data mining technologies and the ISPs are getting it all 'free' plus added revenue. If they don't help themselves to the data mining technology, few ISPs will be able to afford the millions to develop their own in house systems.

    Privacy really is an issue. Why should all customers give up any privacy just so that a few criminals can be identified?

  59. Daniel Voyce
    Thumb Down

    Virgin - Sort your lives sout

    So not only have you lost us Sky One, put up your Telephone to Per minute billing and capped our bandwidth - you are now going to push this on us.

    Way to keep the customers!

  60. William Bronze badge

    RE: I have to LOL

    Because Virgin already provides access to illegal content through its newservers.'s's


    It also has a rather nice alt.binaries.ebooks.technical

    that contains a lot of copyrighted books (including schematics for planes no less)

    I guess they cannot cut you off by downloading content held on THEIR servers, especially as you are not the one "making it publically available".

    If anyone is on virgin media, I suggest you have a check of their news servers, and have a good chuckle...

  61. James


    Yes I think you are right, if you use your connection for anything 'illegal' your connection can be terminated and you will be liable for outstanding monthly rental up to yout 12 month contract

    However, is downloading 'illegal'?? I thought it was a civil matter - copyright infringement???

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye VM

    In my last house I was with Telewest and the Internet was good. When I moved I got NTL. Things were also good. Since NTL took on the Virgin name I've noticed things getting rapidly worse: Premium rate "support", worsening throughput, throttling of anything encrypted (which has ****ered my VPN into my home office), selling my personal information to Phorm and an increasing number of outages on both my phone and BB. Now add this to the mix and it's enough to make me overcome the inertia and spend the money to go back to BT. I must hand it to VM though: It does take a real talent for ineptitude to screw up this bad.

    I've already ordered my ADSL line (IDNet - Great company :) ) and as soon as it's in and I'm happy with it VM get my FO letter. Not only are they going to lose my Internet business I'm taking my phone lines away too. Already switched my TV to Sky as I was unhappy with VM's picture quality and rather ****ed off that NTL/VM have never correctly billed me for the phone tariff I wanted, instead putting me on something costing me more and not fixing it when I complained. I may add in a complaint to Ofcom as a final parting shot. I don't know why they didn't call themselves "Slut Media." I mean, someone that screws that many customers every month is no virgin.

    A Telewest employee once told me that it almost impossible to get a customer back once they've churned. Get me my coat please. Bye bye VM. I'm going to miss you like a hole in the head.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    blah blah blah

    bit torrent is rubbish anyway, leave it to the unwashed masses.

    Usenet, IRC (xdcc) and Perfect Dark are all perfectly good things to use.

    Of course every now and then they take note of usenet, but IRC is far too boring for the media world to pay attention too and perfect dark - well I'd love to see them crack it. Just needs more users.

    So get running your perfect dark nodes kids.

  64. Anonymous Coward

    No such thing as bad publicity...

    Yeah right. Try telling that to the Creative management, see

    Hasn't the record industry shown anyone over the last decade that the "really annoy your customers" business strategy tends to result in customers telling you where to go?

    Way to go Virgin!

  65. Martin Nicholls
    Jobs Horns


    "I didn't see anything about virgin actually inspecting traffic though" - no because that r illegal, they are not law enforcement and they don't have a warrant. Falls right smack-bang in the middle of a bunch of very strongly-worded laws.

    "Cough *Peerguardian* cough cough"

    *cough* SSH Tunnel *cough*

    "That resulted in 4 disconnections...and that pushed the costs too high? What was the budget, one packet of first class stamps and a postman pat writing set?" - heh <3

    "Bugger I hear that the BPI have asked the Post Office to scan all mail for DVD content – now your friendly postman will know what sort of porn you are interested in." - that's a good way for the Post Office to get themselves in all kinds of legal hot water with the govt sending all those bank details around. What exactly is it that they do one they find this perfectly legal media? And worse what happens when all the data is on their is encrypted, not in the clear like how our retarded govt send data?

    "If they argue that they aren't in breach of copyright because they have the permission of the rights holder, they are admitting that anyone downloading the file from them is also legal as it has been legally made available by the rigths holder. As they will be offering the file to all of the IP addresses that they collect (they'll want to make sure that they can prove the file is being downloaded), there could be an embarrassing loophole in this." - Arguably, that would possibly be my defence in court, they gave up rights to the material the second they transferred a block of data to another peer. But, when you don't take people to court and you get the ISP to do your dirty work for you, and that's the real problem - there's no real legal process when your ISP dumps you, it's also the problem - by not taking people to court, there's so many ISPs around these days it takes minutes to sign up with another one.

    Somebody was talking about privacy and the human rights act and somebody else mentioned that using encrypted headers would cure what ails you. The problem here is that they are not intercepting your data, they are acting as a peer in the swarm, when you connect to a torrent swarm for example, you connect from your IP to other peers & seeds, it's actually solid evidence and not illegal - remember you connected to them, it's like arguing privacy for something you did in a city street, you gave up that right to privacy the second you left your home and other people could see you in plain sight.

    But the real issue here is simple, and some have touched on it when discussing downloading of Lost episodes, due to unavailability. All we want is our media in the format we want it, what we want is to be able to download our music, movies and TV shows rather than being forced to watch it at an insanely scheduled time, in a format of our choosing (if I want a 1080p movie why does it have to be on BLU-RAY and not x264 @ 8.5GB for example?), if I want music why most I install the iTunes malware on my PC? If I want to watch a US TV show why must I wait 6 months, when all my online 'friends' are discussing what's happening in the next series, then be forced to watch it when some scheduler thinks I should in a format I don't want, then be forced to pay a license fee for TV when I should be able to just download it as a video, as much liable to TV licensing as watching a

    Youtube video. Why should I be forced to pay for a broadcast network I have no interest in using, and channels I have no interest in watching? Why can't I watch live streams of the football matches I want to watch, at a bandwidth I want via a medium of my choice (the internet) and not have to pay for matches I'm not interested in, and why must I also pay for all those other channels with nothing but crap on?

    Solve all the above and then we can talk about piracy and illegal downloading.

  66. This post has been deleted by its author

  67. Anonymous Coward

    Blatant bullshit.

    Remember all the furor in the 1970's about tape recorders?

    Every album had the following printed on it somewhere...

    "Home taping is illegal and it's killing music"

    Did it?


    And reported (possibly on this site) some months ago was an announced move by the various labels to REDUCE the amounts paid to artists in royalties.

    It's about greed and ignorance.

    And mostly it's an excuse to censor the net. If they can get it through "because of criminals" they succeed like their phony "war on terror" and all the loss of liberties brought in on the back of that particular lie.

    And finally...

    You think my life will end if I lose the net?


    It's the most overrated cesspit humanity has ever produced. I hate and despise capitalism and am sick to death of adverts, subscription based access, limited trials, legally questionable changes of T&C's, flash adverts, soft porn adverts for financial and IT services, Microsoft and their endless lying two faced bullyboy tactics, Apple and it's endless "you can be cool if you buy this" nonsense, and adware. The internet is a bit like the road system. Most people out there on it ought not to be allowed anywhere near it.

    Here's one for the Record Industry - if you don't like the net - fuck off somewhere else.

  68. nutellajunkie

    virgins are stupid

    You know, they are slow to giving us the best service, yet so quick at introducing crap like this.

    I tell you something though, I hope they understand the difference between legal and illegal P2P, because its an amazing technology for large downloads (eg; Linux ISO's, demo games', trailers'). Id be FURIOUS to the point of taking legal action if they cut me off for my continuation of sharing our various distributions.

    Well Virgin, lets see something done properly for once, coz I for one haven't lost faith, yet!

    .. or is this an April fool?

  69. tim morrison

    One less for Virgin Media

    I fell for a Virgin Media broadband offer, despite being more than happy with Freedom2Surf for three years.

    I signed up, and got so pissed off with the shitty connection and arsey call-centre staff, that after a MONTH, I was happy to pay the disconnection fee to get shot of them.

    Please, anyone reading this, take heed of my experience and this story and AVOID VIRGIN LIKE THE PLAGUE.

    Im now back with Freedom2Surf and situation normal, one happy bunny again.

  70. Oliver

    This is just posturing... VM to show that they are attempting to appease the BPI IMHO. I can't see them getting much further down this road than Tiscali did before they throw their hands in the air and claim that a partnership is unworkable. They might even get the opportunity to dump some of their heaviest users, which in their eyes, may be a boon for network management.

    Of course if they actually followed through with this, the battle would just move on to the next frontier - IP filters (e.g. peer guardian), proxies, developments to BT clients to hide IPs, etc, etc.

    BT would not be much of a loss if warnings forced me to abandon it anyway - VM's own newsgroup server provides all the content I could wish for!

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Virgin on the rediculous ?

    I wonder if this has more to do with the Virgin group trying to protect sales in its record stores ?

    Richard B%^£"@D I hope your next balloon flight downs in the middle of the pacific

  72. Dick Emery

    The only people this will affect...

    ...are families (Or idiots who 'share' craploads - with the emphasis on crap - of BPI music files).

    I doubt anyone with half a brain will be affected much. Lets think about this.

    For starters it's a 3 strike rule. In that if you are caught 3 times you get disconnected. Whoopee effin' doo! The chances of being caught the first time are remote. Remoter still if you use your head. Especially if you start using the methods outlined below either prior to being caught or after the first warning. Also the chances of being caught a second time are pretty remote anyhow let alone a third time.

    First off if you don't use P2P at all and just 'download' (Never upload or share content) from usenet (SSL even better), IRC, FTP etc you are about as likely to be caught as getting a free trip to Mars.

    If you must use P2P however then there are some things you can do to minimize being caught.

    1. Use an IPfilter.dat file. Most decent clients like uTorrent and eMule allow the use of a filter file. Granted this won't stop them from seeing your IP but it will block them from downloading from you. It's not really a solution as others seem to believe but it may help a little.

    2. Make sure any encryption and obfuscation options in your P2P client are enabled. Again this won't prevent them from seeing your IP.

    3. Use a leech client. I know a lot of people will hate me for saying this as P2P is all about sharing. But lets face it. If you are not uploading you minimize being accused of sharing stuff.

    4. Try not to use public trackers on torrents if you can help it. Especially for popular music and movies.

    5. ALWAYS stop seeding a file once it is complete and ALWAYS move your files out of your share folder to someplace where it is not shared.

    Yes there are other methods including seed boxes and darknets etc but most people won't really need them and they have their downsides.

    Using the methods above you too can stay low on the radar and avoid being hassled by the media mafia.

    Currently with an ISP that does not appear to give a rats arse about all of this and I have been able to max my 8Mbit connection for months on end with no comebacks. Not saying who though just in case ;)

  73. jimmy you

    RE: Dick emery

    I wouldn't want to try and claim any kind of righteous crap about the ethics of file'sharing' as I would be the first to admit, it is most likely a bad thing. I still do it but hey, life goes on.

    I just wanted to comment on the guy above as I think you dick emery are the kind of filesharer that the rest of us despise.

    You remind me of the kids at school that wait until they see other kids having a fight in the playground, then they start kicking the one they don't like whilst he can't see who it is...then run away when the teacher comes.

    A coward, no less.

    A spineless git who sees nothing wrong in getting some of the rewards but letting others take the blame.


    So you advocate that everyone who reads your comment uses P2P but as a leecher?

    Use a Leech client?

    There is no such thing my friend.

    I actually wish it upon you that YOU do get caught.

    You seem quite contented to let others take the risk for you whilst you jump on some torrent and grab the episode of Lost or whatever crap you like, let them get in shit for it. As soon as you get what you want you're off?

    I hate you.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I agree with the above comment.

    Dick emery you do deserve to get caught!

    Also everyone if you haven't already need to watch steal this film part 1 and 2.

    Part 2 especially spells out what P2P is doing and how it is helping to evolve the technology backbone of the internet.

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