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Update: BT accused of being the 'music pirates' friend'

BPI distances itself from allegations...
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

BPI distances itself from allegations...

Earlier this week BT was accused of aiding and abetting illegal file-sharing by refusing to adopt a hard line approach to peer-to-peer networks. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which blames file-sharing for falling CD sales, was quoted on the BBC saying that BT has consistently refused to discuss the phenomenon of file-sharing and the online distribution of copyrighted material which first came to prominence with the meteoric rise of Napster. However, BT was quick to reject any allegations of complicity or wrongdoing. Tony Henderson, a spokesman for BT Openworld, told silicon.com: "We were surprised and disappointed to hear that that BPI said we don't talk to them on this issue, as we've spoken to them many times. The chairman of the BPI even came to the launch of our dot-music service - which is a legal service offering music downloads." Henderson said it's not BT Openworld's responsibility to monitor those using its broadband bandwidth for file-sharing. Concerned that it has been misrepresented, the BPI has now issued a statement distancing itself from the BBC story and confirming Henderson's assertion that BT has indeed worked closely with the BPI in the past. The BPI statement said: "Quotes attributed to the BPI on a BBC report do not properly reflect the relationship between BPI and BT. The BPI has a good, on-going dialogue with BT which involves regular contact. BPI recently attended the launch of BT's dot-music download service and wholeheartedly supports this service. The BPI is developing contacts among UK ISPs as part of its online anti-piracy strategy and is keen to ensure that the interests of both ISPs and BPI members are properly addressed in these discussions."
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