Will McGree got a letter form Virgin Media (his cable provider) and the British Phonographic Institute (the UK version of the RIAA (
of which Virgin -- also a record label -- is a member turns out they're not affiliated with the record label any longer
) telling him that he could be sued and disconnected from the Internet because someone used his open WiFi to download music. It wasn't Will -- the program used for file-sharing is a Windows app, and he runs Linux. It was one of his neighbours.
Virgin and BPI take the position that being a copyright holder means you get to specify the router configuration of every computer connected to the Internet. That just because open WiFi makes it harder for the BPI to hunt downloaders, no one should be allowed to offer it, no matter how convenient useful open WiFi might be. I've run open WiFi networks for close to a decade now -- I rely on open networks when I'm out and about, so it only seems fair to return the favour. Plus, closed WiFi networks are a pain in the ass if you have houseguests, exotic wireless devices, or older consoles and the like that can't handle passwords gracefully.
If I play my music with my window open, my neighbour might decide to open his window and listen in, instead of buying his own music. Does that mean that the record industry gets to order me to bolt my window shut?
Just one more reason not to pay for Virgin Broadband -- they're just not on their customers' side.
Virgin Media are the only ISP sending out BPI notices. They don’t have to - there’s no law or industry regulation that says so. They just leapt into bed with the BPI and the BPI couldn’t be happier that they’ve got someone doing their “policing” for them.
In September, we’re building a home server in our flat. It’ll be a Tor node so that finally Virgin Media don’t need to worry themselves with what’s flowing through their routers. It’s just data. Like I paid for.
See also: Virgin Media UK working with record industry to spy on and threaten downloaders
This week on Cool Tools’ Maker Update: Kitty Grabs Gold, a beer cooler that follows you, the Circuit Playground Express, Adafruit and Microsoft, Other Machine Co. and Bre Pettis, Tinkercad Lego export, a great kit for gadget and toy hacking, and Maker Faires. Our featured Cool Tool is the iFixit Electronics Tool Kit. Check out […]
The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you’ll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch.
Microsoft announced Tuesday a long-awaited upgrade to its Surface Pro series of high-end tablet PCs, dropping the number from the name and adding Kaby Lake processors, more minutes on a charge and a few dollars to the price tag. Here’s Mark Hachman, Senior Editor at PCWorld: For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]