Virgin to file-sharers: We won't cut you off

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garden_shears.jpgFollowing a backlash to today’s news that Virgin Media has been sending out warning letters to 800 identified file-sharers, a company spokesman has stated that this is not a prelude to the ISP cutting off offenders’ internet connections.

As reported earlier, the letters being sent out have a warning on the envelope that reads: “Important. If you don’t read this, your broadband could be disconnected”. Clearly you’re reading that wrong though because Virgin isn’t actually going to disconnect you.

“We don’t make any kind of accusation about the user — it could be somebody else in their house, their block of flats or they might have an open Wi-Fi connection,” the spokesman told The Guardian this morning.

Virgin also reiterated that its plan is to educate users about what is kosher on the web and asserts that it’s not “pointing the finger at the account holder”. Interestingly though, the letters sent out include a message from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) which is backing the notion of giving dodgy users a series of warnings before cutting off their internet connection.

Naturally, that idea hasn’t been welcomed by anyone except the music industry. This morning’s back peddling by Virgin points to a potentially very exciting showdown between ISPs and music industry bodies. No one is loving Virgin’s Orwellian approach and it will clearly alienate consumers. With the company already getting bad publicity from its questionable adverts, maybe it will start to think seriously about sticking up for its customers for a change.

Virgin Media (via The Guardian)

Related posts: Virgin Media CEO hates net neutrality | Virgin Media plans to ban file-sharers

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6 comments

  • My taste in music tends towards stuff put out by small independent labels, and in that situation I’m happy to stump up some cash for a physical object to replace/legitimise what I download. With major label bands, the lions share of their income derives from licensing songs to film/tv/adverts and so on, a process which has no reliance on how many people actually buy the album its from. So I do feel less guilty about denying a sale to the global megacorp.

  • However much the actual cds cost to produce, it does seem there’s a balance out there.

    As you say Caz, I like to buy my albums for around a fiver and 3 or 4 quid, as a general rule, would seem fair to most consumers, I think, even if it only cost the labels 48p per album or whatever it does.

    I’ve got no problem with record companies, and hopefully artists, making money so long as we feel we’re treated fairly as well.

  • Remember that you’re not paying for the cost of a CD plus the time taken for someone in a factory to burn it and package it, but you’re paying for the artists to make the music, record the music, someone to produce the music, a record label to promote the work.

    All these people along the way want to earn a living and companies employ staff that all take home a wage.
    Physical media has had it’s day in my view anyway with digital downloads (the legal kind) being so effortless it’s almost a pleasure to use.

    I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, at least not a new title from the high street…

  • I don’t think making an album for 48p is quite as far as they’d be willing to go BUT I for one will never buy an album when its £10 I always wait till the sale or till it hits around £5! I think it is a much more acceptable price to pay. Although in fairness I remember when albums were costing £15 back in the 90s and singles were £3-£4 so I think we are heading in the right direction now.

  • Yes, I think it’s clear that the current situation is just not working. I do believe that people actually don’t want to just go ahead and steal the music they like, but that the current pricing structures, the convenience and accessibility of DRM-free digital music is a significant driving force behind piracy.

    In the end, I think what the music industry fears the most is not the theft of music, but that the digital age brings with it the strong possibility that the days of the big labels are numbered.

  • By no means I am supporting theft of music in any way but at the end of the day government should come up with some sort of regulations saying no music companies can charge more then 5p per music track if sold online and more then 10p if sold on media. because all I see is these so called entertainers and entertainment companies getting wealthier and wealthier day by day. They do not need so much of money for actually just sitting back making copies themselves…
    I would certainly support paying £20 or £30 or even £50 for a live concert. But think about this… buying a photocopy of painting of Picasso is not more then cost of photocopy of anything of that size. or may be 2 times the price. While actual painting sells for millions….
    So basically all these music cd’s and dvd’s are copy of work done by a group of artists only once and should not carry so much monitory value.
    If they reduce price… people will automatically stop buying or copying from illigal sources…
    for example:- I can buy a blank cd for less then 10p so I am sure these companies can buy it for less then 1P. Add another 1p for recording and 14p for advertising and packaging. If they sell this for 48p they still make massive 200% profit.
    Think about it…
    Oh sorry those struggling artists… No offences…But once you are successful… you would also make millions to justify your immoral and illigal activities which sets no good example for the youth of tomorrow…ok…new aritsts may not make good money if cds are sold for 50p… and they end up selling may be only 1000 of it ever… buy hey… if music companies wants to make profit from their business, they will have to invest as well..
    so reduce the size of payout to those big artists and pay some of that to balance new artists’s production costs because once they are famous, they will make you millions too…

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