Sky ordered to turn over customer details to 'copyright troll'
11 March 2015
By virtue of being the UK's second-biggest broadband provider, Sky held a huge amount of customer data that it was responsible for. The ISP would now have to turn over the data to companies that claim copyright over it, after it was forced to bow to pressure from a US media company over infringement.
The company in question, the little-known TCYK LLC, widely regarded as a "copyright troll", is pursuing hundreds of claims against hundreds of file sharers. TCYK had successfully applied for and had been awarded a court order, mandating Sky turn over names and addresses of those accused of sharing the 2012 movie The Company You Keep.
The Robert Redford/Shia Lebouf film appears to be both the source of the company's name, as also its sole reason for existence, according to commentators. A search for "TCYK LLC" does not return a company site or portfolio of titles, but rather a stream of reports about it pursuing people who it thinks might have downloaded the movie.
According to TCYK, it identified specific IP addresses from torrent swarms, prompting it to seek the court order. The case had been going on since September 2014, though the order to supply details had only been obtained recently. Sky customers could now expect to receive letters from TCYK, likely demanding recompense for loss of earnings.
Meanwhile, in an email to its affected customers, Sky stressed that it was not involved in any evidence gathering and was not commenting on the accuracy of TCYK LLC's claims. However, according to the broadcaster, it was "likely" that TCYK LLC would soon reach out to account holders which it suspected had shared or downloaded its films illegally.
"We advise any of our customers who receive a letter from TCYK LLC to read it carefully and if they want any further help to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau," Sky told TorrentFreak.
People receiving one of these letters, should seek legal advice before sending any response according to commentators.