Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kangaroo or Karoo Court?

Karoo has a unique service position as an Internet service provider (ISP) in Hull. It is the only ISP in the area, which has no BT lines and has long adopted a policy of automatically suspending service of suspected file-sharers. In order to get their service restored, customers had to sign a document accepting that they were guilty and promising not to repeat the offence.

It appears that following a BBC report outlining the firm's practice. Karoo now issued a statement saying that it has been "exceeding the expectations of copyright owners". Karoo will now adopt a "three strikes" rule, in which suspected file-sharers will receive three written warnings before action is taken.

Andrea Robinson, a Karoo customer from Willerby, told the BBC that a day after her service was cut off, she received a letter from the firm claiming that she had been using the peer-to-peer file-sharing service BitTorrent to download the film Terminator Salvation. She was told to attend the company's offices to resolve the issue.

"They gave me a form to sign to get reconnected," she told the BBC. "The form basically said 'if I admit my guilt you'll reconnect me'. So I didn't sign it and walked out."

The practice follows the Amazon Kindle debacle which lead to a personal apology from Jeff Bezos and a change of policy at Amazon. The current approaches is like chasing the drug takers whilst the dealers stand on the street corners dispensing the wares. Karoo appear to have ‘exceeded everyone’s expectation’. Some may wonder if Karoo is short for Kangeroo which appears to be their type of court justice

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