As was already evident, some Sky subscribers have found themselves in trouble after they received privacy threat letters from a copyright firm that goes by the name TYCK LLP. The firm claims that some of Sky subscribers have been involved in the illegal sharing of the movie “The Company You Keep” over P2P networks. This is the second high profile case after a federal court in Australia ruled in favor of Voltage Pictures, the production company of Dallas Buyers Club, against Australian isp iiNET.
Copyright trolling, Speculative Invoicing and Pay-Up-Or-Else schemes are methods which refer to some solicitors or firms working for copyright owners to observe file sharing networks for unauthorized downloads and breach of copyrights. The motive behind such schemes is often to pressurize internet users to pay up for purported copyright infringements. Some of these schemes are based on misleading assertions, threatening subscribers to pay or face court proceedings.
A new Voluntary Copyright Alert Program is said to be introduced separately by UK’s top four broadband companies. VCAP warning letters would be sent to people with dubious online activities. However, it won’t be intimidating in nature and won’t demand for money. It would rather act to create awareness regarding internet users.
In case of TYCK LLP, the news initially started making rounds somewhere around September last year and now things are speeding up. The case, in September, was taken to court where TYCK applied for Norwich Pharmacal Order after which Sky had to disclose the names and addresses of some of its internet account holders.
TYCK, to be fair, has acknowledged that it doesn’t have evidence of any particular individual committing the offense and that they might have targeted the bill payer. This part is of particular importance because a person might be sharing his IP with friends or family via wifi. In such a case implicating a particular person becomes all the more complex and difficult.
Here is the extract from TYCK LLP’s letter taken from TorrentFreak
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
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
Citizen’s Advice, however provides advocacy services in this regard and helps people understand the situation they are in. Michael Coyle, a lawyer from Lawdit has also promised to help people who have received such threats. Hopefully, no Sky customer finds himself in trouble for a movie as average as The Company You Keep.