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UK Torrent Users Receiving Warning Letters From ISPs, But No Consequences

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Users of torrent sites will soon be receiving warning letters from their UK ISPs. The letters will inform the users they are potentially downloading copyrighted material and attempt to educate them as to alternative methods of acquiring their favorite movies, TV shows, software, music files, and other material.

Program Targets Users Of Torrent Sites Like Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, Rarbg And Torrentz2

The previously announced "Get It Right" program is set to launch any day now in the UK, and new details on the process are now emerging. The program will focus almost exclusively on users of various file sharing torrent websites like The Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, Rarbg, Torrentz2, Extratorrent, and 1337X, not users of alternative file sharing systems Usenet or locker style file download options.

Users will be monitored by a third-party contractor and will be notified via a letter from their ISP that informs them of the offending activity. Repeat offenders can receive multiple letters with no maximum, however there will be a grace period of 20 days in between each letter.

"After an Educational Email has been sent, there is a 20 day grace period during which time you will not receive any further emails. However, if further copyright infringement activity occurs and is detected after the 20 day grace period, you may receive another email from your ISP," according to the list of FAQ posted on the "Get It Right" website.

Warnings But No Punishments

A maximum of 2.5 million letters will be sent per year for the next three years. That means only a fraction of UK torrent users will actually receive the letters. The warnings, however, have no real consequence, no matter how many a user receives. No punishments will be handed out; nor will any users be in danger of being disconnected by their ISPs. The ISPs currently participating include BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media, as well as NOW TV (owned by Sky) and PlusNet (owned by BT).

The campaign emphasizes that the letter sending process is aimed not at the biggest hardcore copyright infringers, but more casual uploaders and downloaders of potentially infringing material, and the goal of "Get It Right" is to educate users and steer them to viable legal alternatives to file sharing.

"The purpose is to educate UK consumers about the many sources of legal content available, highlight the value of the UK's creative industries and reduce online copyright infringement," according to a spokesperson for the "Get It Right" program.

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