Comcen not concerned with clients' Web site content

A second witness from the Internet service provider Comcen revealed yesterday that the provider does not concern itself with what their clients are offering on their Web sites.Chris Takoushis, an employee of Comcen, said during the ongoing trial against the operators of the controversial Web site mp3s4free.

A second witness from the Internet service provider Comcen revealed yesterday that the provider does not concern itself with what their clients are offering on their Web sites.

Chris Takoushis, an employee of Comcen, said during the ongoing trial against the operators of the controversial Web site mp3s4free.net and the Internet service provider over alleged music copyright infringement, that it was the usual practice for the provider's employees not to concern themselves regarding their client's business on their Web site, even if the company title being used hints illegal music file sharing or even pornography may be involved.

Record companies are claiming that Comcen benefited directly from the increased traffic on its servers as a result of the unauthorised trade of music files on the mp3s4free Web site, and that the relationship between the Web site operator Stephen Cooper and Comcen extended beyond what may be expected from that between a Web site owner and their Internet provider.

However, in his affidavit, Takoushis said he had never really visited the mp3s4free Web site to know what their business is.

"When I assist a site owner with some aspect of their site, I cannot ever recall having actually had to visit their site in order to deal with the matter. Rather, I visit the server and look at the codes. It is never a question of looking at the physical aspects of the site. Once I have made amendments to the codes, I notify the site owner," he said.

Takoushis also said that there were no mp3 files found on E-talk and Comcen's servers. The data stored, he said, is "pictures, words, frames, buttons, logos and the like for the Web site itself".

These were "physical layout items together with the underlying code which make up a particular Web site," he said in his affidavit.

Similar to E-talk and Comcen director Liam Bal's statement, Takoushis also denied allegations that the provider was making money out of the mp3s4free Web site.

"The two circumstances in which there possibly may be some commercial benefit for an ISP in the case of mp3s4free is when a person who has a Comcen e-mail account downloads a file through the Web site and they have exceeded their monthly download allowance which would generate a small additional fee; or where a person visiting the Web site clicked on the Comcen banner and then decided to start a Comcen e-mail account," Takoushis said in his affidavit.

"It is my belief that any funds generated for E-talk and Comcen would be minute or non existent," he added.

Bal said no customers have registered with either E-talk or Comcen by initiating the link from Cooper's Web site.

Takoushis also said he was simply the "administrative contact" for Cooper and that he had no right to agree to the deal between Cooper and Comcen regarding free hosting services in exchange for free advertising in the mp3s4free Web site.

He said it is not within his authority and that he would have had to obtain a decision from Bal or anyone from management.

The closing statements for the case is scheduled tomorrow.

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