thieves, slander etc
Comment as usual sharply divided into the "holier than thou" brigade and the "free love" brigade. How about some sense? This is how VM do it at the moment.
1) The BPI do the initial investigation, identifying IP addys they believe to have downloaded copyright material. They don't need to snoop on your PC, merely set up a torrent client and listen.
2) They then supply VM the list of IPs and dates. Supposedly, VM review this and decide if they agree the evidence is valid. If so, VM write to the account holder
3) Er - thats it.
For the BPI to take it further they'd need to get a court order to release the account detals. Theoretically to get /that/ they'd need some actual evidence but I doubt most judges would be tech-savvy enough to know the difference.
Now - as for the theft-or-not arguments - they're irrelevant. Copyright infringement is a civil matter and the BPI have to take you to a civil court. Its worth remembering that in such courts its a 'balance of probailities' not 'innocent till proven guilty' - which may make things trickier for both sides.
But as someone said, how will the BPI know its copyright material? Names mean nothing. They'd have to join every concievable torrent and actually play the files. Othewise I could rename my CV to "Some_rubbish_by_Aylanna_Myles.mp3" and off we go.
So top guess - they'll target a few popular torrent sites, blanket spam everyone who appears to be using them and hope for the best....