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BT defers court case seeking downloader details

ISP wants to ensure data will be stored securely

BT has deferred a court case that would have seen the telecom giant ordered to hand over details of web users thought to have illegally downloaded files until next year.

Legal firm Gallant Macmillan was seeking a court order to obtain the names and addresses of web users thought to have illegally downloaded tracks, which Ministry of Sound owns the copyright for. The web users are customers of the BT-owned ISP PlusNet as well as Sky and Be Broadband.

However, BT asked the court for an adjournment as the company wants to be reassured the data will be stored securely. BT's requests come on the back of a DDoS attack on legal ACS:Law, which resulted in the names of web users thought to have illegally file-shared being leaked to the web as they were not stored securely. Information on around 500 PlusNet customers was contained within the data leaked to the web.

"The incident involving the ACS:Law data leak has further damaged people's confidence in the current process," BT said.

"We want to ensure broadband subscribers are adequately protected so that rights holders can pursue their claims for copyright infringement without causing unnecessary worry to innocent people."

The case will now take place on January 11. Gallant Macmillan has asked that some of the details of the case remain private to ensure data security systems can't be hacked.

ACS:Law came under fire for so-called "bullying" tactics that saw letters issued to web users thought to have illegally downloaded files. The letters state the recipient must pay a £500 fine and sign a legal undertaking agreeing not to illegally file-share in the future.

ACS:Law has also been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), following a complaint by Which?.

Forum 4Chan is thought to be behind last week's DDoS attack on ACS:Law. It's also thought to be responsible for an attack which took down the Ministry of Sound's website earlier this week.

Gallant Macmillan has already issued 2,000 letters to web users thought to have illegally download, on behalf of the UK record label.

See also: O2 says net piracy letters 'bully' web users

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