BT calls for halt on piracy trials

BT is calling for a freeze on legal requests for customer data from prosecutors of piracy cases, after hundreds of customer details were leaked online.
 
A UK court has approved the telco’s request to hold off providing customer data in light of the scandal, and BT says it will challenge any further requests for information until a test case concludes.
 
The firm is also reticent about providing private information on its users until it can be assured the data will be safe.
 
BT is involved in a court battle with Gallant Macmillan, a law firm attempting to convince a court to force ISPs - including BT's PlusNet - to disclose details of users accused of illegally downloading music from record label Ministry of Sound.
 
A lawyer for BT told BBC News that the operator views the trial as a test case for Britain's ISPs.
 
The case was due to be heard this week, but following the injunction is now scheduled to commence in January 2011.
 
BT's stand comes days after it emerged the company used an unencrypted spreadsheet to send details about its customers to legal firm ACS:Law.
 
The details, along with those of thousands of customers from other providers, were leaked by hackers last month.
 
The data breach caused an outcry, with BT, O2 and BSkyB revealing they intend to challenge any data demands by ACS:Law in the future.
 
ACS:Law has built a business from threatening to sue UK broadband users thought to be engaging in piracy unless they pay roughly £500 (€578) to settle the case. To date, no case has made it to court.
 
Last year the firm revealed plans to send infringement notices to around 13,000 BT customers in 2010.

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