How do I know if my child has been downloading from illegal sources and what are the consequences?
www.musicmatters.org, www.industrytrust.co.uk and www.thecontentmap.com all have lists of legal sites for accessing music, film and TV, so ask your child which website they used and you can check the lists of legal sites to see if their site is on it.
There are also a few signs that you can look out for that will give you an idea if your child has been downloading from illegal sources. For instance, films are often not available for download or on DVD if they are still being shown at the cinema so, if your child is watching something that is still on at the cinema, check to find out how they got a copy.
In terms of the consequences, if the copyright owner of the illegally downloaded content decides to sue, there is a chance that ISP account holder you could incur a hefty punishment in the form of a fine, or having your internet access removed.
Could I be held responsible or prosecuted if my child has been downloading illegally?
As the ISP account holder, you may be held responsible if your child has downloaded some content illegally and the film, TV or music rights owner decides to sue. This is the case even if your child had no idea that they were accessing content illegally.
How are people who illegally file share found out?
Generally, those file-sharing illegally do so on public networks. Owners of the content can access these public networks and detect when copyrighted material is being shared illegally. They then identify the IP address of the computer and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) which allows them to notify the ISP who then notifies the person whose computer has been used to illegally share files.
Music, video, TV and film companies can get a court order that requires ISPs to disclose customer details that identify infringers. The copyright owner can then take legal action against the infringers.