Cox Lies To Customers; Says DMCA Requires Disconnects For File Sharing

from the that's-flat-out-false dept

While there's been a big push among the entertainment industry to get ISPs to adopt a "three strikes" policy that would have ISPs disconnect internet access to users accused of unauthorized file sharing, with them losing their account permanently after the third time. This is highly problematic for a variety of reasons, starting with the rather flimsy evidence that the entertainment industry relies on, combined with the idea that the accused are considered guilty with no process of appeal. Furthermore, there's no clear reason why an ISP should act as a copyright cop for the entertainment industry. In fact, many ISPs trashed such proposals, and told the entertainment industry where to shove them. More recently, the EU Parliament rejected such laws mandating three strikes policies, noting that they were clear violations of individuals' freedom.

One of the reasons that the entertainment industry had been focusing on Europe, Australia and Canada for such programs was that it seemed that US ISPs had made it clear that they would never adopt such a three strikes policy. Think again. Apparently cable giant, Cox, has quietly adopted a three strikes policy and is kicking users off the internet if they're accused of file sharing.

Even worse, the company is lying to customers about it, claiming that the DMCA requires them to do so:
Under the DMCA, we have the responsibility to temporarily disable your Internet access, until such time as you take the necessary steps to remove the infringing files and to prevent further distribution of copyrighted material.
This is a complete fabrication. The DMCA has no such requirement. What's really odd is that Cox had built up a reputation as being the customer friendly broadband ISP that took customer service very seriously. Yet, here they are, cutting users off, lying to them about why and relying on the entertainment industry's weak evidence to harm its customers. It's a shame. In the meantime, we'll extend an earlier challenge to Cox. Will it accept a three strikes policy of its own? If it cuts off users three times and the evidence is shown to be false, will it provide free internet access to that user?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    some old guy, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 9:06am

    deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    I worked at cox for a short while. Business Analyst. Fun stuff.

    They are DEATHLY afraid of becoming "a dumb pipe provider". You can consider EVERY ACTION they take to be a way to try and save themselves from that fate.

    Why? Profit margins. The "triple play" is all about insanely fat profit margins. "Dumb Pipe" service has nothing on the voice and video margins.

    Funny thing is, every survey out there says they only want their ISP to be a dumb pipe provider. A simple utility. There is nowhere near as much profit in providing internet as there is in providing voice and video. The "war on piracy" has nothing to do with warez. It's all about stopping the proliferation of free video. They have already lost the war to keep people on voice service. Customers drop like flies from that service as they look at their landline bill vs cell phone bill.

    Now with torrents gaining in popularity, the people that really like to watch tv are finding that they can have so much more control over their viewing experience if they just torrent their shows instead of sticking to broadcast schedules. Tivo ain't got nothing on the piratebay when it comes to gaining control of your viewing experience.

    And that means more and more people are just going to get rid of the cable bill. They will either catch their shows on a service like Hulu (uses bits! some control, still a broadcast medium tho) or p2p networks (uses more bits! absolute control).

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Re: deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    Really, that's just like an American business. "We will force the (high-profit) services down your throat that we think you should want, rather than the (low-profit) services you actually want." Which they get away with, thanks to the remarkable lack of competition in the broadband space. Where I live, our choices are AT&T or Charter, sort of like choosing between Freddie Kruger and Jason from Friday the 13th.

     

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  3.  
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    RD, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 9:26am

    Brilliant!

    Wow, amazing. So, absent any real definite evidence, which means pretty much any one can be accused, they will terminate their own customers....yes, I see it now, what a brilliant plan! Why, the sheer magnitude of the benefits are, um, well, there arent ANY. Using these guidelines, ALL users are guilty or can be accused 3 times. Are they seriously going to terminate the majority of their customers? What are they getting to offset the losses? Whats that? Nothing you say? The RIAA/MPAA arent compensating them? Oh thats right, they just wont sue if they cut people off that are accused. So how is it again that a company stays in business when it kicks its OWN CUSTOMERS out and gets nothing to replace them? It amazes me the sheer idiocy of people in this world. Any ISP adopting this policy deserves to go out of business, the sooner the better.

     

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  4.  
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    come again, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 9:57am

    So here is a thought, if you don't like someone and they are on Cox, just tell Cox they are file sharing and get them disconnected. with the low standard of proof needed don't be surprised if you see this happen.

     

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  5.  
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    Cru, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 10:21am

    Max has shifty eyes.

    With friends like Digital Max, who needs enemies?

     

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  6.  
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    INconcievable, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 10:31am

    had this discussion with them

    I went through this already with Cox. Had a rep tell me that they monitor all activity and compare downloads with hash files that they have on hand to discern legal and illegal downloads. I blew up at the guy, told him he was unbelievably wrong and that they are an ISP. I asked him how they got the hash files in the first place. Nailed him on a couple of other technical details and told him that I appreciated him admitting that Cox does indeed monitor my every move. He backed off pretty quickly but I still think Cox is worthless.

     

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  7.  
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    Lucretious, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 10:47am

    This is pretty surprising since Cox is rated one of the best cable providers in the industry, not just for the quality of their product but the level of service.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Merely for my edification, can someone please explain what is illegal about an ISP disabling the service of a user it believes is in breach of the ISP/user contract?

     

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  9.  
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    NeoConBushSupporter, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:14am

    What Exactly Is The Issue?

    Since when does Cox, COMCAST or anyone else HAVE to do business with anyone. As I recall, in America, they can pretty much refuse to do business with you for any reason they like (with some specifc exceptions). Read the fine print people, you have no "RIGHT" to cable.

    VOTE McCain 2008 - Its time to change Washington back to what it once was and once again could be, again.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Re: Re: deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    "Where I live, our choices are AT&T or Charter, sort of like choosing between Freddie Kruger and Jason from Friday the 13th."

    Where I live our choices are COMCAST or COMCAST.

     

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  11.  
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    Oldster, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:17am

    Re: what is illegal about an ISP disabling the service of a user it believes is in breach of the ISP/user contract?

    There is nothing illegal about it. The issue is their claim that they are required by the DMCA to do it. They aren't. But their TOS/AUP gives them the right to terminate an account if the user engages in illegal or prohibited activity.

     

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  12.  
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    Matt, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:20am

    Funny thought

    Anyone else find it funny that COX is disabling your internet for uploading "infringing content" until you take it down, especially when you need the internet to remove the content in the first place? Seems like putting the cart before the horse.

     

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  13.  
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    PRMan, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:26am

    Occam's razor says:

    1. User shares a music/movie file on their system (seeds a torrent or whatever).
    2. **AA finds out about it.
    3. **AA sends DMCA takedown notice to Cox.
    4. Cox IS legally forced by the DMCA to remove the account until the infringing files are gone.

    Am I missing something here?

    It all sounds pretty straightforward to me...

     

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  14.  
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    dan, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:29am

    I have cox, I have no complaints. I would say my up time is 99.9 percent. Better then I ever had with Adelpha which I beleive is owned by road runner now.

    If by the actions of their terminating scum bag torrent downloaders who think it is their god given right to affect every other customer on the network. God, because my service is execelent because of it.

    Screw the scum bags, let them be terminated. I get execelent downloads/uploads/uptime because of strict adhearance to abuse policy.

    This falls under. Fk you downloaders, you quite obviously don't give a fk about your fellow internet users woth you hogging the bandwidth. Why should I give a fk about you that your finaly getting what you truely deserve.

    Dan

     

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  15.  
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    Bob, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:48am

    Re:

    So what you are saying, is that if I happen to download a lot of bandwidth in a month and it is all legal that I am hogging all of it and punishing my fellow low bandwidth users. HA! I guess if you use that type of reasoning we will all be using 28.8K restricted limits again as we did back in the 80's. And if you go over that limit you get banned.

    Screw that.

     

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  16.  
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    WDS, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 11:57am

    Re: Occam's razor says:

    First what does your post have to do with Occam's razor?

    Second, Cox is not hosting the content. If it were on their servers it would be one thing, but it isn't. They are only providing the pipe. The DMCA applies not even a little bit.

     

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  17.  
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    Richard Ahlquist (profile), Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:10pm

    Re: deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    Despite their fear of becoming a dumb pipe provider they just proved it.

    They got served a DMCA takedown for copyrighted material in their IP space, since they couldn't delete the file they did the next best thing, broke the pipe.

    Simple clean and a interesting interpretation.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Re:

    Merely for my edification, can someone please explain what is illegal about an ISP disabling the service of a user it believes is in breach of the ISP/user contract?

    No one said it was illegal. For a lawyer who insists on interpreting everything literally, I'm surprised you would make such a mistake.

    The issue was lying to their users, and doing something likely to tick off users, and then pretending, falsely, that they're required to by law.

     

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  19.  
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    CobaltQube, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    Ok everyone.. Time for Dan to have some nap time followed by juice & cookies.. Dan is having a bad moment.. easy Dan.. easy there little guy..

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re:

    "The issue was lying to their users, and doing something likely to tick off users, and then pretending, falsely, that they're required to by law."

    Without more facts than presented here, it is not possible to reasonably conclude that the ISP is protected by the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA. Therefore, to say the ISP is "lying" seems a bit premature.

     

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  21.  
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    Adam_v1, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:29pm

    Cox isnt the only one.

    My borther got in trouble with a small wireless internet provider in colorado called WhatWire. They actually told him that they had been contacted by HBO because he was downloading infringing content and they would cut off his internet on the next offence. Not only that but they told him the files he downloaded had a "beacon" implanted in them and the only way to keep his computer from phoning home to HBO was to format the hard drive on his computer.

    needless to say my brother was pissed but since he has moved and gone to college he no longer has anything to do with that ISP thankfully but even better the first thing he said after this came up was he would never buy anything from HBO again.

    In the past he has bought many HBO shows on DVD and he has HBO on TV but missed an episode and was torrenting it cause he wanted to see it. Many people now look at torrenting something they watched on TV or missed an episode of as like using Tivo, how can you be "stealing" media they showed for free on TV?

     

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  22.  
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    John, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    No logic?

    we have the responsibility to temporarily disable your Internet access, until such time as you take the necessary steps to remove the infringing files
    Like post #12 said, how is someone supposed to remove the infringing files if they no longer have internet access?

    Then again, this is the same "business logic" that tells people to check a website if their internet connection is down or to send an e-mail to customer service if they can't access their e-mail account.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:35pm

    Long live ThePirateBay!

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Re: No logic?

    I believe the issue pertains to files in a "share" folder on the user's computer.

     

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  25.  
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    Tech, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:50pm

    Idiot.

    This is about so much more than meets the eye. This is about big brother...

    Dan, go pound sand you ignorant ghit. Let the people that understand what is going on worry about this.

    If an ISP can step in and:
    1. Monitor Your Traffic (they can)
    A. Keep records of it
    B. Decide who can surf what (Can you spell China?)
    C. Identify persons of different political idealogies. Whilst we live in a free society now, who knows what is coming down the pike. If the wrong people come into power, all of a sudden your friends and neighbors could be hauled off to the friggin gulag. Think that's nuts? 30 million dead Soviet detractors can't be wrong (and could you imagine how many Stalin or Hitler would have killed if they had access to ppl's search records?) Wow.

     

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  26.  
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    Fred Ritz, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:55pm

    COX NETWORK

    If almost everone switches networks the will get the message believe me "POWER IS WITH THE PEOPLE"

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:01pm

    Re: What Exactly Is The Issue?

    The issue, exactly, is that while they can refuse service to anyone, they're hiding behind a law and claiming it says something it doesn't. If they just said, "we'll cut you off if you do X," that'd be one thing, but they're saying, "we don't want to, but the law is MAKING us," blah, blah. They're being deceptive, and we don't like that.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    When they came for the file-sharers I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a file-sharer.

    Tell me, Dan, how the show will play out when you're accused of file-sharing. It's not like the RIAA hasn't been wrong before. Pre-litigation letters have been sent to printers for cripes sake.

     

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  29.  
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    DragonRider, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Cox and ISPs in general...

    I will admit, right off the bat, that I don't know all the ins and outs of Copyright Law, DMCA et al, however, the offending words here are "accused". Cox is legitimizing the summary termination of service based on an accusation. There is no mention of due process, discovery, investigation or verification of any time. This strikes me as call US Cellular and telling them that I overheard joe blow discussing terrorism plans on his cell phone. I do this 3 times and he looses his phone?

    No, I grant there is no "right" to cable, however, it is a service I purchase, I pay for it. I pay for it in advance, at least a month, possibly for a year. There is a due process of law before one may remove ones property without recompense. There is also the tenant here in this country that one is innocent until proven guilty. Cox is assuming guilt based on accusation... that is wrong. This is nearly as bad as another company suspending service because one is using too much of it...

    Essentially, the company is infringing on our rights... exactly how, depends on which way they go about it. But to brank one guilty without any recourse, and to punish us monetarily... without a hearing... is wrong on several fronts...

     

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  30.  
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    WarOtter (profile), Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Idiot.

    In Soviet Amerika, internet searches YOU!

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:17pm

    FUCK THE WORLD

     

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  32.  
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    Arizona Customer, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:22pm

    Cox as ISP

    Cox has been absolutely the BEST in customer service, uptime, and speed -consistently- for years for me in the Phoenix area! Love em love em love em!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    COX can suck my ****

     

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  34.  
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    Michael, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    ...Ok, first of all Dan, you're rather accusatory. Not everyone who uses torrents uses them "illegally." For instance, World of Warcraft uses a torrent like system to distribute game patches. That way players can patch from each other and take some stress off the servers Blizzard has. There have also been movies and music released via torrent.

    Secondly, the article is about a company making false claims to their customers to act in any way they see fit. If they want to terminate a user, that is fine but they shouldn't be making up excuses. They are trying to play both sides of the fence by terminating the service but acting like they are required to legally (which they aren't).

    Lastly, complete NON-torrent traffic can also affect your download/upload times. Do you also hate slingbox users? Online gamers? Web site hosters? Apparently, the Internet is for Dan and Dan only.. everyone else out of the pool.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    All ISPs should follow Cox's lead

    I think all torrent users should be kicked off every broadband provider's network. Do you think they are sharing home movies and their own songs. Nope, we all know what they are doing. They are taking something (song, movie, etc..) that they did not pay for, it is called THEFT (you can label it copyright infringment if you want but it is stealing profits from companies and artists).

    I say good ridance to scumbags!

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    Where i live all we have is comcast and qwest, do i was 250gb cap with 8mb down stream or less then half the down stream with an 300gb cap (yes they cap just not offically)

     

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  37.  
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    DanC, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Without more facts than presented here, it is not possible to reasonably conclude that the ISP is protected by the "safe harbor" provisions of the DMCA.

    It makes more sense to presume the ISP is covered by the safe harbor protections, since the exemption was put in place specifically for online service providers.

    Therefore, to say the ISP is "lying" seems a bit premature.

    No, there is nothing in the DMCA that requires an ISP to disconnect a user. Therefore, when Cox Cable sends out messages saying that the DMCA requires them to disable internet access, they are lying.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    "It makes more sense to presume the ISP is covered by the safe harbor protections, since the exemption was put in place specifically for online service providers."

    There is no legal presumption that an ISP is covered by a safe harbor. It is a legal defense that it must plead and then establish.

     

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  39.  
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    DanC, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 2:08pm

    Re: All ISPs should follow Cox's lead

    I think all torrent users should be kicked off every broadband provider's network.

    I think you should be kicked off the internet. See how much sense that makes?

    Do you think they are sharing home movies and their own songs. Nope, we all know what they are doing.

    Let's see...they're updating their games, downloading Linux distros, creative commons works, or any of the other perfectly legitimate uses for the technology. Simply because a technology can be (and is) used for illegal purposes is not a good enough reason to ban its use.

    it is called THEFT (you can label it copyright infringment if you want but it is stealing profits from companies and artists).

    We call it infringement because that's what it is. Also, you can't steal profits - you can't take something that was never received. And in some cases (certainly not all), infringement can actually lead to further sales for the content producer.

    Thanks for playing, come back when you have some idea what you're talking about.

     

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  40.  
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    DanC, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    There is no legal presumption that an ISP is covered by a safe harbor. It is a legal defense that it must plead and then establish.

    So you're going to play Devil's Advocate and assume they aren't covered by the safe harbor exemptions. Have fun with that.

     

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  41.  
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    Mike (profile), Oct 1st, 2008 @ 5:50pm

    Re:

    There is no legal presumption that an ISP is covered by a safe harbor. It is a legal defense that it must plead and then establish.

    MLS, that's simply incorrect, and I would think that you would know that.

    I know you like to come here and pretend to be the wise legal expert, but now you've reached the point where you are stating false things.

    The DMCA safe harbors were established specifically for such cases. The legislative history is clear, as is the case history involving the DMCA. To claim otherwise is either ignorance or willful misleading.

    Considering that you position yourself as an expert, I'm going to have to argue that it would be the second one.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re:

    "...that's simply incorrect..."

    Then please enlighten me and your readers with a citation to case law holding that the DMCA establishes an initial presumption in favor of an ISP, and that the burden of proof/persuasion resides with a copyright holder to overcome the presumption.

     

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  43.  
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    DanC, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Then please enlighten me and your readers with a citation to case law holding that the DMCA establishes an initial presumption in favor of an ISP, and that the burden of proof/persuasion resides with a copyright holder to overcome the presumption.

    You're intentionally misrepresenting the issue. The statement you initially made was that

    "Without more facts than presented here, it is not possible to reasonably conclude that the ISP is protected by the 'safe harbor' provisions of the DMCA."

    While you are correct that the burden of proof resides on the ISP to show that they meet the requirements for safe harbor provisions (if a lawsuit was filed), you don't provide any real reason to assume they wouldn't meet those qualifications.

    The situation is similar to determining fair use - while it is a defense, a person can make reasonable assumptions about what would qualify as fair use based on what the law says and its intent. Likewise, it is a reasonable assumption that an ISP (especially a large provider like Cox) would be protected by the safe harbor provisions, since the whole point of the law was to protect ISPs from the infringing activities of its users.

    And a quick look at Cox's website shows that they are meeting the requirements for safe harbor protections. Unless you're also going to require proof that Cox actually follows through on the takedown notices before a "reasonable" assumption can be made.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: Idiot.

    "In Soviet Amerika, internet searches YOU!"

    This is classic, made my entire office laugh

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The point made in the article is that the ISP is "lying" to certain of its customers by referring to the DCMA.

    Under the specific cirsumstances described it is incorrect and misleading to even suggest dishonesty, much less declare it as was done here, on the part of the ISP. Dare I even mention the possibility (and likely probability) that the ISP, which certainly has superior knowledge of the pertinent facts, has determined that it may be at risk of losing safe harbor and adopted measures to mitigate the risk? I certainly do not have any of the pertinent facts know to the ISP, and surely the same can be said of the article's author.

    As for my "enlightment" invitation, it was responsive to a declarative statement by Mr. Masnick that caselaw contradicts my immediately prior comment. Given that techdirt has repeatedly stated that its goal is to provide accurate and timely information based upon research by itself and others, it seems to me that if Mr. Masnick is correct it should not be particularly difficult to provide a citation to one or more specific court opinions.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I just noted a typo. DCMA should read DMCA, i.e. the acronym for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

     

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  47.  
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    DanC, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Under the specific cirsumstances described it is incorrect and misleading to even suggest dishonesty, much less declare it as was done here, on the part of the ISP.

    Where in the DMCA does it state that an online service provider is required to disable the account of an accused infringer?

    Dare I even mention the possibility (and likely probability) that the ISP, which certainly has superior knowledge of the pertinent facts, has determined that it may be at risk of losing safe harbor and adopted measures to mitigate the risk?

    If that is the case (which I doubt), then they could have easily phrased that in their message to the customers. They didn't. Instead, they stated that they were required by the DMCA to disable accounts. That isn't true, therefore it's a lie. Cox Cable is attempting to use the federal government as the scapegoat for their own "three-strikes" program by lying to their customers.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 9:50am

    Re: Re: deathly fear of a dumb pipe

    "...a interesting interpretation."

    Since when have lies just become "interesting interpretations"? (except to liars, of course)

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 9:58am

    Re: What Exactly Is The Issue?

    Since when does Cox, COMCAST or anyone else HAVE to do business with anyone. As I recall, in America, they can pretty much refuse to do business with you for any reason they like (with some specifc exceptions). Read the fine print people, you have no "RIGHT" to cable.
    Wow, did you hurt your arm swinging so hard at that strawman?
    VOTE McCain 2008 - Its time to change Washington back to what it once was and once again could be, again.
    What, Washington doesn't have enough of you liars already?

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: Occam's razor says:

    Am I missing something here?
    Yeah, like reading the DMCA before you go posting false statements about it.
    It all sounds pretty straightforward to me...
    To the contrary, your claim that "Cox IS legally forced by the DMCA to remove the account until the infringing files are gone" seems pretty twisted to me. How long have you worked for the **AA?

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:07am

    Re:

    This falls under. Fk you downloaders, you quite obviously don't give a fk about your fellow internet users woth you hogging the bandwidth. Why should I give a fk about you that your finaly getting what you truely deserve.

    And just what do you use the internet for, Dan? I'd just bet that you do some downloading and that you're a hypocrite.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:12am

    "Under the DMCA, we have the responsibility to temporarily disable your Internet access, until such time as you take the necessary steps to remove the infringing files and to prevent further distribution of copyrighted material."

    I take it that the following would be acceptable to meet techdirt's "non-lying" test:

    "Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (hereinafter referred to as the "DMCA"), and specifically as set forth in Section 512 to Title 17 of the United States Code, we have certain obligations we must meet in order to avail ourselves of the DMCA's "safe harbor" provisions. "Safe harbor" basically means that so long as we meet our aforesaid obligations we will not be held monetarily liable for contributory copyright infringement due to the actions of one or more of our customers.

    Based upon some of the uses you have made of our services, we have determined that such uses may expose us to contributory infringement liability. In order to mitigate the potential loss of our "safe harbor", we have decided it is both prudent and in our mutual best interests to temporarily suspend your access to our services until such time as you have taken the necessary steps to remove files infringing the copyrights held by others and to prevent further distribution of any copyrighted material without the prior written consent of the copyright holder(s).

    We regret the inconvenience, and look forward to reestablishing your sevice once you have advised us in writing that you have taken and completed the steps as aforesaid."

    ...or at least words to this effect.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:13am

    Re: Cox as ISP

    Cox has been absolutely the BEST in customer service, uptime, and speed -consistently- for years for me in the Phoenix area! Love em love em love em!


    Of course you would say that. They're probably paying you.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 10:18am

    Re: All ISPs should follow Cox's lead

    ...it is called THEFT
    No, it isn't. But you know what making false statements like that is called, don't you?

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    DanC, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    I take it that the following would be acceptable to meet techdirt's "non-lying" test

    "Under the DMCA, we have the responsibility to temporarily disable your Internet access"

    This statement is a lie. Period. It doesn't fail the "techdirt non-lying test", it fails the incredibly basic "is this the truth" test. I find it amazing that this is so difficult for you to grasp. Your reworking of the message passes the truth test only if it is, in fact, true.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 8:11pm

    Re: Re:

    I do believe my long-winded "notice" is accurate, but of course would never write such a monstrosity to an ISP user.

    Using just your quote, it could be changed to read "Under the DCMA, we have the responsibility to temporarily disable your internet access if we want to keep from being sued and paying out $$$ as damages because you seem unable or unwilling to quit sharing copyrighted materials. Might we suggest you quit breaking the law so that we can get back to running an ISP and you can get back to using the internet once more."

    Of course, I could always shorten the quote by eliminating all after "access" so that it is less argumentative and accusatory.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    DanC, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 2:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Once again, the ISP does not have the responsibility to disable internet access under the conditions of the DMCA. That is their own "three strikes" policy, and is not mandated by the government.

    I suspect the main reason why Cox Cable is lying to their customers is because "the government makes us do it" sounds better than "you violated our terms of service".

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 1:31pm

    In addition, to be eligible for any of the limitations, a service provider must
    meet two overall conditions: (1) it must adopt and reasonably implement a policy of
    terminating in appropriate circumstances the accounts of subscribers who are repeat
    infringers

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Idiot.

    I completely agree with #25. There is so much more than meets the eye in a situation of this magnitude. People like Dan are enveloped in a pseudo-intelligence, fighting for some presumed cause they ironically know nothing about. It's people like Dan who claim they have the same rights as everyone else, but then allow the government to curb every choice they can make.
    I'm not saying that downloading copyright materials should be allowed, but lying to consumers with false validation is wrong in every "better business" aspect.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    angry, Oct 16th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    a situation of this magnitude

    Hope I'm not too late joining the discourse. I actually got a friend's service suspended just a few days ago, whilst using a torrent to download a lecture series on the Emperors of Rome. Note to surfers, avoid that one. Besides the issue of whether it's legal, ethical, moral, etc to download copyrighted material there is, in fact, a very serious issue at hand here.

    The issue is that this ISP has chosen to get into the rapidly growing business of data mining and outright spying on its users. You may argue that it's fair for Cox to terminate or suspend its services at any time for any reason, and you'd be right. You may also argue that they are clearly lying when making the claim that they are legally bound to take that action, and you'd also be right. But what bothers me, and what seems to bother many other commenters is the degree to which Cox is monitoring our internet activity. I saved the html file that Cox displayed during the suspension, and here is copy of their instructions for removing the suspension:

    Step 1. Remove the copyrighted files. the following files must be deleted from your computer:

    [here it lists metadata of the infringing file, in my case it was a folder, notice it does not list the folder's location or its individual files:]

    Title: Teaching Company
    Filename: TTC - Emperors of Rome
    Filesize: 762259288

    Step 2. To avoid any future infringement, we highly recommend turning off the sharing feature of your peer-to-peer software, such as KazAa, Morpheus, Grokster, etc. For specific instructions on how to disable the feature for your specific software, consult with the software vendor.

    Step 3. After deleting the files and disabling file sharing, you may click here [html link to a javascript command] to reactivate your service. Please note that reactivating your connection without cleaning your computer first may result in additional suspensions or permanent termination of your Cox High Speed Internet service

    In step one, I already pointed out the roughness of its hash data, and though it seems likely to produce false positives it did not in my case, the really disturbing part is in the specific language of the next two steps. In step two, it tells you to turn "off the sharing feature" of your file sharing software...the logical inconsistency is obvious, and the mere use of file sharing software is NOT in any way illegal or in violation of any ISP's terms of use. But the real kicker is in step 3, when it states that you must not only cease downloading or sharing the files (I was at a mere 12% when my friend's service was suspended) but you must also delete it from your computer entirely. This of course seems okay, except that you must accept the idea that Cox will remotely search your computer's file system. So what we've learned is that this particular ISP not only monitors your every action online, compares it to a blacklist generated by...well we don't know who it was generated by frankly, but they will also monitor all your files regardless of whether they are shared online or not.

    The irony of the entire situation, of course, is that the files I was downloading are not available to be purchased from the owners of the copyright. It was clearly a bootlegged, recompressed group of mp3's probably stripped from video. The file sizes, number of files, etc was entirely different than what you'd get if you purchased the download legitimately. When a copyright owner goes after a bootlegger, do they also go after people who obtain those counterfeit products?

    I had also just upgraded to the newest version of uTorrent, there may be a connection there as well.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    angry again, Oct 16th, 2008 @ 6:01pm

    One more thing I forgot. What really makes me angry is that Cox will devote resources to this BS, when they completely turn their backs on the clearly criminal actions of malware, spyware, and viruses. If your computer is infested with malware, as the vast majority of home computers are, and your PC gets turned into a zombie, will Cox suspend your service and help law enforcement shut down the botnet? Nope. After the user finds out their identities have been stolen, credit rating ruined, and computer destroyed, maybe they'll send one of their charming reps out to your house to incompetently and ineffectually "fix" your problem...or at least keep you happy enough to keep the bills payed.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    CoXCaNSuKiT, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:18pm

    COX has disconnected me twice already. And I really don't care, that's why I have a wireless card (that connects to another users unsecured COX account ironically). Hmm, wonder what happens when another person connects to your unsecured router and downloads copyrighted material..? Does the host or the client take the blame? hmm... hmmmmm..... F.U. COX =)

    viva la p1r4t3!!!

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    CoXCaNSuKiT, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:30pm

    My borther got in trouble with a small wireless internet provider in colorado called WhatWire. They actually told him that they had been contacted by HBO because he was downloading infringing content and they would cut off his internet on the next offence. Not only that but they told him the files he downloaded had a "beacon" implanted in them and the only way to keep his computer from phoning home to HBO was to format the hard drive on his computer.

    needless to say my brother was pissed but since he has moved and gone to college he no longer has anything to do with that ISP thankfully but even better the first thing he said after this came up was he would never buy anything from HBO again.

    In the past he has bought many HBO shows on DVD and he has HBO on TV but missed an episode and was torrenting it cause he wanted to see it. Many people now look at torrenting something they watched on TV or missed an episode of as like using Tivo, how can you be "stealing" media they showed for free on TV?


    NEED THIS BE DISCUSSED ANY FURTHER???

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    CoXCaNSuKiT, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 5:34pm

    My borther got in trouble with a small wireless internet provider in colorado called WhatWire. They actually told him that they had been contacted by HBO because he was downloading infringing content and they would cut off his internet on the next offence. Not only that but they told him the files he downloaded had a "beacon" implanted in them and the only way to keep his computer from phoning home to HBO was to format the hard drive on his computer.

    needless to say my brother was pissed but since he has moved and gone to college he no longer has anything to do with that ISP thankfully but even better the first thing he said after this came up was he would never buy anything from HBO again.

    In the past he has bought many HBO shows on DVD and he has HBO on TV but missed an episode and was torrenting it cause he wanted to see it. Many people now look at torrenting something they watched on TV or missed an episode of as like using Tivo, how can you be "stealing" media they showed for free on TV?


    NEED THIS BE DISCUSSED ANY FURTHER???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    John, Dec 30th, 2008 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: what is illegal about an ISP disabling the service of a user it believes is in breach of the ISP/user contract?

    Ok so I guess you like the idea then !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: What Exactly Is The Issue?

    I though republicans knew what a contract was. Oh, Mc Cain lost, I mean really lost!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    BlowMyCox, Sep 29th, 2009 @ 11:30pm

    Cox

    Cox Suckers!!

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    erichguy, Oct 11th, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    about bit torrent

    I wonder if cox is going to call us about using bittorrent
    i live with family members. as of this day i started using bittorrent. i hope they dont.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Cendir, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:43am

    P2P

    When did creating something turn into the want of treasure? Cox emails me for sharing art. I did it. If the copyright holder wants something in return, take, or we'll go to dinner and discuss your works. But the copyright holder didn't email me, I didn't put my name in the liner notes or credits, and honestly an email is weak sauce.

    Cox's commercials are lame. And, ON DEMAND could've been a lot cooler.

    If you want to stop sharing, stop it at its source: pregnancy.

    Insert law abiding citizen comment below...

    ...which doesn't make sense if you call yourself an American. Arrogant rebel scum. Remember?

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    CAROL, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    COX LIES

    Cox employees seem to lie about many things. I had an installer come into my home to install services I bundled in my name, but installed in someone elses name. He I told him to leave, and he refused, saying that since I was not the man who the said services were ordered under, I could not cancel the service, even though this was my home and not the so called person. So bizarre.
    I was told that my phone and internet service would be in someone elses name. The installer disconnected my phone, internet service, and he installed the Cox service. I spent 3 hours on the phone with Cox, and they too informed me that even though the person whose service was being installed did not live at my residence, I could not cancel the order.
    The installer told me how to lie to Cox to get service back to my name. This whole ordeal went on for 5 hours.
    I then called the company who I was origanilly contracted with, and had them restart my phone service and DSL. I then called the FCC and filed a complaint - a very lengthy process.
    My 3rd call was to the top brass at Cox who were horrified at my story. They put my cable service back in my name. This whole ordeal lasted a month.
    I paid no fees for reinstallation.
    I have to tell you that the installer, the peons at Cox had me so upset the day this happened that I cried for hours. My friends were horrified while I explained what was going on the day this took place.
    I continue to use Cox digital service, and am very happy with it, and hopefully this is something that won't happen to anyone else.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    real, Dec 18th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Re:

    lolumad? srsly, dude. CHILL OUT.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    DAN'S BULLY, Apr 6th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    DAN IS MY BIT$^^

    IM GONNA FIND YOU DAN AND IM GONNA BEAT THE SH*& OUTTA YOU BOY!!!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    dan likes cox, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 5:13pm

    Re:

    dan,,, everyone here hates u , you have no idea what the F your talking about.
    and btw cox didnt ur mother teach u not to lie?

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    piratebay, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 5:15pm

    Re: DAN IS MY BIT$^^

    let me know when im commin with you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 12:23am

    i think that dan c is as boring as dial up

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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