Tiscali has reacted to the BPI's request that it close the accounts of 59 people the record label trade body accuses of file-sharing music.

The ISP has criticised the organisation for the manner in which this matter was raised and the lack of any supporting evidence on 16 of the 17 customers the BPI is accusing of file-sharing.

However, Tiscali emphasises that it does not condone illegal filesharing. In its letter back to the BPI it states: "Tiscali does not support or condone use of its network for abuse or infringement of copyright. Tiscali has a history of co-operating with those investigating any such matters, within the limits of its own legal obligations and whilst respecting the legal rights of our customers.

"Moreover, Tiscali has done a great deal of work to further the development of the legitimate online music community and has developed and enjoys an excellent working relationship with most of the major record labels in the UK and many independent labels, the majority of which are your members."

Regarding the 17 cases of illegal file-sharing the BPI has highlighted, Tiscali says: "You have provided no actual evidence in respect of 16 of the accounts. Further, you have provided no evidence of downloading taking place nor have you provided evidence that the shared drive was connected by the relevant IP address at the relevant time."

"Similar requests we have dealt with in the past, have included such information and, indeed, the bodies conducting those investigations have felt that a court would consider it necessary to see such evidence, supported by sworn statements, before being able to grant any order," Tiscali adds.

Tiscali goes on to request that the BPI provides screenshots of each user's shared drive; evidence that shows that the user id is connected via the IP address concerned at the relevant date and time; and evidence that downloading is taking place.