One of the things that the Digital Economy Act includes is a requirement for ISPs to email or write to their customers when instructed to do so by copyright owners – the so-called “three strikes” warnings. Here’s what the text has to say:
(6) A notification under subsection (4) must include—
(a) a statement that it is sent under this section in response to a copyright infringement report made by a copyright owner;
(b) the name of the copyright owner who made the report;
(c) a description of the apparent infringement;
(d) evidence of the apparent infringement that shows the subscriber’s IP address and the time at which the evidence was gathered;
(e) information about subscriber appeals and the grounds on which they may be made;
(f) information about copyright and its purpose;
(g) advice, or information enabling the subscriber to obtain advice, about how to obtain lawful access to copyright works;
(h) advice, or information enabling the subscriber to obtain advice, about steps that a subscriber can take to protect an internet access service from unauthorised use; and
(i) anything else that the initial obligations code requires it to include.
(8) The things that may be required under subsection (6)(i), whether in general or in a particular case, include in particular—
(a) a statement that information about the apparent infringement may be kept by the internet service provider;
(b) statement that the copyright owner may require the provider to disclose which copyright infringement reports made by the owner to the provider relate to the subscriber;
(c) a statement that, following such a disclosure, the copyright owner may apply to a court to learn the subscriber’s identity and may bring proceedings against the subscriber for copyright infringement; and
(d) where the requirement for the provider to send the notification arises partly because of a report that has already been the subject of a notification under subsection (4), a statement that the number of copyright infringement reports relating to the subscriber may be taken into account for the purposes of any technical measures.
As a public service, I’ve written a form letter that ISPs can use when emailing their customers. Here’s my suggested text:
Dear [insert customer name],
This email is sent under section 124A.6 of The Communications Act 2003 as amended by The Digital Economy Act 2010, in response to a copyright infringement report made by a copyright owner.
The name of the copyright owner is:
[insert name here]
The apparent infringement reported by the copyright owner is:
[insert statement of infringement here]
The evidence supplied by the copyright owner is:
[insert evidence here]
The purpose of copyright is to encourage a dynamic creative culture, while returning value to creators so that they can lead a dignified economic existence, and to provide widespread, affordable access to content for the public. In the UK, copyright is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
You may obtain lawful access to copyright material in a number of ways. These include, but are not limited to, purchasing physical media containing the material from an authorised seller or reseller, viewing or listening to the material on free-to-air or subscription broadcasters, borrowing it either from a library or from any other individual, downloading it from authorised distributors or creating it yourself.
You can obtain advice on how to secure your network against unauthorised use by contacting the manufacturers or suppliers of your networking equipment.
The copyright owner has also required us to include the following information:
* Information about the apparent infringement may be kept by us.
* The copyright owner may require us to disclose which copyright infringement reports made by the owner to us relate to you.
* Following such a disclosure, the copyright owner may apply to a court to learn your identity and may bring proceedings against you for copyright infringement.
* The number and nature of copyright infringement reports relating to you may be taken into account for the purposes of any technical measures.
[insert ISP name]
How does that sound to you? Any suggested improvements?