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Verizon

Internet Providers To Begin Warning Customers Who Pirate Content 442

Posted by timothy
from the looks-like-you're-not-using-tor dept.
beltsbear writes "Welcome to the future that you warned us about. Starting soon, Verizon, Comcast and others will work with the Center for Copyright Information to reduce piracy. Customers thought to be pirating will receive alerts. 'The progressive series of alerts is designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again,' If a customer feels they are being wrongly accused, they can ask for a review, which will cost them $35, according to the Verge."
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Internet Providers To Begin Warning Customers Who Pirate Content

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  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:06AM (#41719471) Homepage

    ... if I didn't do anything wrong. THEY should first prove I did.

  • vpn (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:06AM (#41719475)

    vpn

  • Ooor.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:06AM (#41719477)
    What's stopping them from extorting people by blanketing these notices and collecting $$$ for "reviews"?

    Can I sue them for defamation instead?
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:08AM (#41719485) Journal

    C'mon - Verizon and Comcast likely wrote that provision themselves. After all, why treat it as a procedure when you can treat it as a profit center?

    Just wait until they feel that profits aren't high enough...

  • cost them $35? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:08AM (#41719487)

    how much will be the penalty for being wrongly accused then?

  • Legal groundwork (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:33AM (#41719577)
    This is just to lay the legal groundwork for the music and movie industries. This way they can demand this list from the ISP and show that the evildoer just kept going in the face of legal threats.

    Pretty dumb for any ISP to help to attack their customers. When will the media companies learn that going to war with your customers is not a sustainable business model?

    Plus I torrent Linux quite often how long before they start threatening even legitimate torrent users?
  • isn't this ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlad30 (44644) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:34AM (#41719585)
    an illegal wiretap
  • by RanCossack (1138431) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:35AM (#41719587)
    They don't even have to raise the fee; that's the best part of this, to them. They can just increase profit by going "Oh, let's pick accounts at random and accuse them of piracy."

    35 dollars later, they say "oh, our bad", and they keep the money.
  • Fairness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:36AM (#41719591)

    If a customer feels they are being wrongly accused, they can ask for a review, which will cost them $35, according to the Verge.

    My initial reaction was the typical knee-jerk thought that "innocent until proven guilty" has clearly been thrown out the window, but after further reflection I changed my mind. If you are accused of a crime in court you will end up having to pay legal fees. This is not that different. Reviewing the case requires manpower and the review is not working for free.

    To be fair, the fee for the review should only be charged if the customer is found guilty. If the customer is innocent, then the accuser should be charged a fee. In addition to the amount for the review, the accuser should be forced to pay for at least one month of service for the customer, to compensate him for the inconvenience.

    There must be deterrents against false accusations and none against proving one's innocence, otherwise this will be abused like DMCA takedowns.

    Of course, I don't expect such a reasonable system to be put in place. The telcos just want to make money. They're only doing this to relieve the pressure from the content mafia. They know that even if it makes customers unhappy, relatively few will let them know about it and fewer still can actually do anything.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:37AM (#41719599) Journal

    C'mon - Verizon and Comcast likely wrote that provision themselves. After all, why treat it as a procedure when you can treat it as a profit center?

    Just wait until they feel that profits aren't high enough...

    They are a corporation, profits are never high enough...

  • Re:isn't this ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:37AM (#41719601) Homepage

    Only if the government does it. The contracts you sign up on likely cover this. Not that anyone reads them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @01:59AM (#41719665)

    I wouldn't ignore the first letter. I'd make life a living hell for the sender.

    But then, I'm not pirating several terabytes of pirated material and then bragging about it on an internet website while also giving free (if dubious) legal advice and essentially saying "the system is broken so loot everything". Guess that gives me something of a moral high ground if I do get a letter.

    You go on being legion. I'd rather be an individual than part of your mob.

  • Re:Fairness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arekin (2605525) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @02:05AM (#41719687)
    This is sadly not something you will be able to fight. Honestly I would never pay for this review because it will just come back the same and you will now be $35 dollars short. The reality is that their "research" is to use the same information that resulted in a letter being sent to you to verify that you pirated material (whether you did or did not). Ultimately you're screwed. Best means to fight it is to get a legitimate copy of materials you were downloading and claim that you have a license to own a backup of said materials. Not sure that this would work, but it is the best means I could imagine that you would be able to legitimize any downloads you have made. Course I would only do this if they say that they are taking you to court.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @02:41AM (#41719857)

    I wouldn't ignore the first letter. I'd make life a living hell for the sender.

    It's hard to make life a living hell for an entity that sold its soul a long time ago. I ignore all letters unless served to me by the sheriff as a matter of course. In this society, the threat of legal action usually shuts people up. I'm something of an exception to the rule though -- until legal action actually commences, I really don't give a fuck. Remember, there's plenty of time to settle or negotiate, it's not like the legal process is fast.

    But then, I'm not pirating several terabytes of pirated material and then bragging about it on an internet website while also giving free (if dubious) legal advice and essentially saying "the system is broken so loot everything".

    While I am bragging about it on an internet website, fair enough, nothing I say here is under oath. I can lie all I want; as long as the words themselves aren't inciting people to violence or in some way providing a clear and present danger to public safety. "Download ALL the stuffs!" doesn't exactly make my list of Things People Say That Reasonable People Get Scared About. Actually, it makes the Things People Say Everyday That Only a Very Very Very Super Very Tiny Number Of People Have a Problem With list... and that's about it.

    Guess that gives me something of a moral high ground if I do get a letter.

    You had the moral high ground from day one. Fair use used to be legal. I could share music and videos with you freely -- even copies, even copies of copies, or copies of copies of copies. The operative word is of course 'free'. I can't charge you for it, and you can't make a profit off it. But as long as you stayed within those boundaries, it was all good. And the reason for this was that a lot of our music, media, movies, art, etc., is part of our collective culture. My sister made a reference to the Jetsons the other day -- despite never having actually seen an episode of it. That's part of our culture -- it's symbolism for something about us. The future, flying cars, whatever, it's part of who we are. There are tens of thousands of things just like that, songs "everybody" knows. I have yet to meet a girl who can't recite the lyrics to Sweet Dreams (are made of these), etc. Fair use isn't a cheat -- it's an essential part of retaining and spreading our culture. Locking it up and saying only the wealthy can afford it is wrong. It may be legal, but it's wrong. It will always be wrong. There is no way in which a moral and ethical person can conclude it's anything but wrong.

    Legal does not mean right, and illegal does not mean wrong. I do what's right, what I think is fair, and act within the standards of my community, not some arbitrary standard set out by some rich fucker in a suit who thinks he has a say. Listen, rich fucker, you don't. You never did. All the money in the world can buy you corrupt laws and public officials and a lot of influence, but it can't buy you me.

    I am free. So take your laws, your lawsuits, your bullshit ideology -- and literally fuck yourself with them. And I do mean literally... print them out on a sheet of paper, and shove it up your goddamned ass. Are we clear here? This isn't about me being part of a "mob", this is about me being a proud member of my community. I am proud of my values, and I know these are values that the majority of people in my community, in the country, in the world, support and agree with. That is what I mean when I say "we are legion."

    You cannot threaten or cajoule me into doing something I feel is wrong. That's what standing up for what you believe in means, and I'll do it every time. They got my number, they know where I live... anytime they feel like coming over and trying to force their ideas onto me, I'm up for it. I'm here, ready, waiting. I'm not hiding. I'll fight... but I won't go looking for one. And I encourage you to do the same. Any fool can make a law, and any fool will mind it. You do what's right, that's all any moral, ethical, member of your community can ask... the law... doesn't matter.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @02:42AM (#41719865)

    I don't think so. The ISPs will do everything they can short of disconnecting the user or harming their connection because all that will do is result in losing customers. ISPs only put up with this shit as much as they do because it's not losing them business. If they have to start giving up customers, you damn well better believe the ISPs are going to start fighting, kicking and screaming.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @02:55AM (#41719923)

    If they have to start giving up customers, you damn well better believe the ISPs are going to start fighting, kicking and screaming.

    Not exactly. I have yet to see very many companies not roll over and play dead at the threat of legal action. The only time they ever do is when complying with the demand costs them more money than the retainer's fee. Someone sat down in some meeting room and decided with a few other people to go ahead and do this. That someone is very high up in the company, and it would take them hemmoraging cash before they swallowed their pride. Techies always think about the system, never about the people in it. No, they'll lose customers left and right, bleeding them out, until the shareholders ask why earnings are down. Then, and only at that point, will Pridey McPrides-a-lot reconsider.

    And here's the thing: If all the other ISPs in your area decide to do the same thing (collusion!), they're going to figure there's not much incentive. You may switch to a competitor, but you'll still have the same problem there, and so on and so on, until you're out of the market. All these ISPs have been told nobody will go without internet -- and all internet providers have to "be in it together". But, if people do start dropping off, and not buying internet at all, the entire industry will convulse and retaliate then.

    Not that I expect that to happen. I do, however, expect and ask that anyone who gets their internet shut off file lawsuits against the company. It does not matter if it's justified. It does not matter if you think you can win or not. File one. Everybody, file a lawsuit. File many lawsuits if you can. Keep them busy, keep them in court, and most importantly: Cost them money. And cost the courts time. Because they're overloaded, it takes months to get in on a civil action -- and lawmakers and judges will sit up and take notice when their dockets start filling up with the same thing over and over again. You hammer them, over and over, force them to spend money defending themselves. And at the same time -- make sure your assets are safe. Ask your family to take the title to the car, etc., once you file the lawsuit. Make sure you have nothing they can take away from you.

    Kick those fuckers in the balls so hard their kids are born dizzy. That's how you win. And trust me: It works. If even 1% of the population contested their speeding tickets, the court system would implode just on that. I mean, as in, smoking crater of ruin. I'm not asking everyone who gets a letter to do something: I'm asking 1% of you to. If you can, if you're in a position to put up a fight... do it. Stand up for something.

    This is how you fight authority... and win.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @03:46AM (#41720105)

    1. Accuse all users of infringement
    2. Collect $35 from all suckers
    3. Profit1

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 21, 2012 @03:58AM (#41720147)

    You better hope to hell that your pirating is counted as theft because fraud caries a lot heavier penalty.

    1. It's neither, it's a copyright violation.
    2. It's not theft because he didn't take anything from you. You can speculate that he might have paid you instead of pirating, but in most cases people who pirate would not purchase it even if that was the only way to get it. They are pirating it as opposed to simply not having it at all. You're most likely confusing it with counterfeiting, which is when you pay someone for an illegitimate copy... in this case nobody is getting paid.
    3. It's not fraud because he never entered into any contractual agreement with you.

    I'm not supporting piracy, don't take this post the wrong way. But things might be able to turn around if people like you at least had a fucking clue about how the law works in regards to protecting your work. The problem we're seeing with the current laws regarding piracy is that it requires little or no proof on the part of the person filing the complaint that the person being accused actually pirated anything. And there is almost nothing to prevent outright fraudulent claims. Since you seem to be a bit of a jackass, I hope one day you have to deal with receiving a takedown notice for your own material... it's not easy to get that mess cleaned up, and you likely won't have any recourse for the time, money, and effort you spend doing so.

  • by Kamel Jockey (409856) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @06:59AM (#41720693) Homepage

    You *still* believe pirating is stealing, even after spending time on slashdot?

    (If you didn't mean to say loot, that's cool, we all make mistakes, just say so)

    Tell people here that you use GPL-licensed code in a closed-source product and see how fast you'll be accused of stealing.

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