Copyright holders who believe broadband users have unlawfully shared content online have the option of taking their cases to court.
They can present evidence based on IP addresses, a unique code that identifies a broadband connection. Internet service providers like Sky have records of their customers’ IP addresses. So, copyright holders can ask the court for an order obliging them to reveal the names and addresses associated with the IP addresses presented. If the order is granted, the service provider must comply.
Here are orders we’ve received from the courts where we’ve been compelled to provide customer details:
Date: 30 January 2015
Obtained by : TCYK LLC
Details: Movie entitled 'The Company You Keep'
Date: 26 August 2015
Obtained by: Golden Eye International Limited
Details: Various titles
The copyright holder is likely to contact the customer directly and may ask them to pay compensation.
If a court order is granted, we’ll contact our affected customers to let them know and to warn them about the letter they might receive from the rights holder.
If you receive a letter directly from a copyright holder, we advise you to read it carefully. It may be that you’re not aware of the claims being made – other people might’ve had access to your internet connection, or you simply don’t recall downloading or sharing the content.
If you need some advice, we recommend you go to the Citizens Advice Bureau, or call them on 03454 040 506. They offer free, impartial and confidential service. You can also seek advice from your solicitor.