“Illegal” file sharing?

Something interesting landed in my E-Mail today: a complaint about illegal file sharing via Bittorrent. In itself, that’s hardly remarkable. We get over a hundred most months and because we go so many, most are just automatically forwarded on to the customer without any comment or action. Most are one-offs but I’ve previously estimated about 34,000 people could be affected by the Digital Economy Act because of repeated allegations. This one wasn’t well formatted though, so needed a human to look at it.

It’s regarding, from what I can tell, some sort of specialist computer aided design package. I’m really not clear because the complainant clearly didn’t think that the name of the product that’s allegedly being copied illegally was useful information. As a result, I’m left to guess what it might be from the filename and a quick Google. The fact it couldn’t be automatically processed and that key information is missing gives a clue as to the kind of care they’re bothering to take with the complaints.

Of more interest is the size of the file: There’s a handful of files with slightly different names. One is merely a few kilobytes and the others are only a few hundred kilobytes. Two possibilities spring to mind. The first is that their computer aided design package is really so compact that it will fit on a floppy disk from the 1980s. The other is that they just saw the file name and assumed it was their software without bothering to check.

Who thinks things would get any better under the Digital Economy Act? I don’t.


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