Virgin Media launches downloading education campaign with BPI

BPI & Virgin Media Press Release: Virgin Media launches downloading education campaign with BPI: 6:6:2008

Virgin Media and the BPI today announced a new education campaign to help Virgin Media’s broadband customers safely download music from the internet and avoid the risk of legal action.

As part of the campaign, customers whose accounts appear to have been used to distribute music in breach of copyright will receive informative letters, one from Virgin Media and one from the BPI. Accounts will be identified to Virgin Media on the basis of information supplied by the BPI. Both letters will be distributed by Virgin Media, without the need to disclose customer names and addresses to the BPI.

Research suggests that across the UK, over six and a half million consumers’ broadband accounts are used to access music without permission using peer-to-peer services [i]. The BPI and Virgin Media believe that, in many cases, customers may not be aware that their account is being used in this way. The new campaign will provide practical advice on how to prevent account misuse, links to legitimate sources of on-line music and information about the potential dangers of downloading files from unauthorised sources, including increased threats from viruses and spyware.

Virgin Media will also provide information for all its broadband customers on its website.

Commenting on the new campaign, Virgin Media said: “Virgin Media’s fibre optic broadband is a great platform for people who want to download lots of music on-line. But we want them to do so without infringing the rights of musicians and music companies. This campaign is about helping our customers understand how they can do this and get the best out of the internet.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI added: “Education is absolutely key to reducing the extent of illegal downloading, and we are pleased to be working with Virgin Media on this campaign. We believe that new partnerships with ISPs can help build an internet in which music is properly valued. That will benefit not just musicians, songwriters and labels, but all internet users who love music. This joint campaign with Virgin Media is the first step towards achieving that goal.”

– Ends –

Notes to editors

Virgin Media
Virgin Media is an innovative and pioneering UK entertainment and communications business. For the first time consumers can get everything they need from one company – the UK’s only quad play of TV, broadband, phone and mobile plus the most advanced TV on demand service available, the UK’s first high definition TV service and V+, our high specification personal video recorder. We’re the UK’s largest residential broadband provider, the largest virtual mobile network operator and the second largest provider of pay TV and home phone.

Virgin Media owns two content businesses – Virgin Media Television (VMTV) and sit-up. VMTV owns seven entertainment channels – Virgin1, Living, Living 2, Bravo, Bravo 2, Challenge, and Trouble – and is a 50% partner in UKTV which consists of nine channels including Dave, UKTV Gold and UKTV History. sit-up runs retail TV channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auctiontv.

Virgin Media is the largest Virgin company in the world and has almost 10 million customers. To find out more visit www.virginmedia.com/presscentre.

The BPI
The BPI (formerly known as British Phonographic Industry) represents the UK recorded music business.

Its membership comprises of hundreds of music companies including all four major record companies, associate members such as manufacturers and distributors, and hundreds of independent music companies representing thousands of labels.

Further information from the BPI about ISP Partnerships http://www.bpi.co.uk/isp-partnership

[i] Source: Jupiter Research

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