Virgin Media can’t recognize torrents

Apparently, the wife had a phone call from Virgin Media who is our ISP, to say that we have been downloading music.

The funny thing is, nobody in our household has been downloading music in the last .. at least 4 months, so where they get the idea that just because you download something through P2P means it’s illegal and is therefore music, I don’t know. I’m not sure if US TV programs fall under one of the categories that BPI covers, but if not, what can they do about it if I decided to use a torrent client to download something that isn’t music?

Or, what if I downloaded legal music via torrent? Are they going to call again and send out a second warning because I’ve been using peer-to-peer technology legally? I’m not the first and they’re apparently calling various others that have been using P2P, whether legally or not, so this is where things are going to get interesting. If they could give me a time and/or date of when I was ‘caught’ using peer-to-peer technology (and I’m guessing it was within the last week or two), I could tell them what I downloaded.

Is this going to affect programs that use P2P legally? Programs like xfire use a peer-to-peer distribution method, so if I download a demo or something through the service and then that demo is ‘distributed’ by me, will VM contact us again to say that they’ve detected such activity?

They don’t know what I’ve downloaded and the only thing I can figure is that they base it on the fact you use a torrent program to download something, regardless of what it is you download and if that’s the case, many customers aren’t going to be happy and will migrate to another service where they don’t have such a stupid regime. If they base it on the tracker used, well that’s just plain retarded since, funnily enough, even The Pirate Bay has some legal torrents.

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3 thoughts on “Virgin Media can’t recognize torrents

  1. Virgin’s police-hunt missing against music downloads strikes me as amusing. Like you said in your post, it’s virtually impossible for them to really know what you’re downloading (unless they’re, uh, looking through your hard drive without your permission).

    And if someone’s downloading habits raises suspicion and they DO receive permission to look through your hard drive, innocence is only a deletion away.

    All in all, the Internet cannot be stopped!

  2. I’ve just noticed that torrents have been made useless on my Virgin account – it started on Monday, and while I can upload no problem (which is supposed to be the real legal issue), the downloads will start and then cut off, taking HTTP with it in the process. I have to close off my torrent app and wait a couple of minutes before getting back online.

    I don’t download music at all and haven’t received any contact from Virgin about what or why they’ve done.

  3. Hey faceless, that may not be VM’s fault, my computer used to do that several times when using torrents (legally). Im guessing you’re using XP? Look into a program for increasing the number of max half open connections.

    MS decided to modify XP to stop torrenting, but it can be fixed easily πŸ™‚ Be warned, make sure you have the right program before you do it, because you’ll have to turn off antivirus and such before doing it

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