Court orders for file sharing

What is a court order?

A copyright holder who believes broadband users have unlawfully shared files online (including music, movies and games) may take their case to court.

They can present evidence to the court based on IP address, a unique code that can identify an individual broadband connection. Internet service providers, including NOW Broadband, have records of their customers’ IP addresses. Copyright holders can ask the court for an order requiring internet service providers to reveal the names and addresses linked to the IP addresses presented. If the order is granted, the service provider must comply.

What happens when a court order is granted?

The copyright holder is then likely to contact the customer directly and may ask them to pay compensation.

If a court order is granted, we’ll do our best to let all our affected customers know, and to warn them about the letter they might receive from the rights holder.

I’ve received a letter about file sharing. What should I do?

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 illegal activity being claimed. Other people might have had access to your internet connection, or it could be that you simply don’t recall downloading or sharing the files.

If you’ve received a letter from a copyright holder, we recommend going to Citizens Advice and searching for ‘filesharing’ to find detailed advice. Citizens Advice offers free, impartial and confidential service. You can call them on 03454 040 506.

You might also want to seek advice from a solicitor.

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