CCI Claims Six Strikes Working Great To Thwart Piracy, Offers Absolutely No Evidence To Support That Claim

from the hard-data-is-optional dept

It has been about a year since the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) launched the United States' "six strikes" anti-piracy notification system with the help of the nation's largest ISPs. The service varies slightly by ISP, with carriers either briefly throttling your connection or temporarily locking you behind a "click through" walled garden unless you acknowledge receipt of some "educational" materials on copyright (not surprisingly, concepts like fair use are excluded). Any costs of this additional ISP clerical work are obviously passed on to broadband subscribers.

Since launch there has been absolutely no data released on how many people have been sent warnings, how many people have proceeded through all of the layers, and no consumer feedback has been shared on their experiences with the program. ISPs refuse to talk whatsoever about the program, and we've seen absolutely no data on how effective the program's appeals systems for the falsely accused (who have to pay $35 for the honor of protesting their innocence) have been.

As such, the CCI has announced that they're very happy to declare that the program has been a smashing success at thwarting piracy, with absolutely no data to back those suggestions up whatsoever:
"A national effort to crack down on Internet piracy through a "six strikes" system is seeing success, according to the program's director...Jill Lesser, who runs the system as manager of the Center for Copyright Information, said fears about the system were misplaced..."It's a non-punitive system" that is "intended to be education-based," Lesser told The Hill in an interview...There were "early examples of positive feedback," said Lesser said, adding that she hopes more analysis will show that Internet providers sent out more first and second notices and fewer fifth and sixth notices, which would demonstrate that users stopped sharing infringing content."
Yes, your fears have been misplaced and the program is clearly working, and to prove it, the only evidence we'll offer you is -- our claim that your fears have been misplaced and the program is clearly working. While the CCI hasn't been willing to release any data, traffic headed to BitTorrent networks has either remained static or increased, and overall shared files on websites like The Pirate Bay have increased. One problem CCI will face when trying to show data (should that actually ever happen) on the program is that many BitTorrent users have simply moved toward BitTorrent proxy and VPN services in order to hide themselves from the watchful eye of their ISPs. Those users would show up as no longer being copyright infringers, when in reality they'd simply be hiding their network behavior.

It's not a stretch to imagine that whatever data gets released, it will somehow magically show that the program is not only a smashing success, but that the entertainment industry is justified in expanding it further. As it stands, nothing happens to users after the sixth strike, and nobody tracks users who move from ISP to ISP. As such, it's only a matter of time before more great ideas get introduced. How about a ban on VPNs and proxies? How about a taxpayer-funded organization that tracks offenders across ISPs? Fines for those who reach the sixth level? Our non-transparent data clearly shows that all these things are necessary. Trust us.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:38am

    If history is anything to go on, so far they've likely got one 'confirmed' pirate, one 'inconvenient' person who's trying to sabotage their case by pointing out that the accused person is innocent, and they're currently looking around for a judge willing to ignore that pesky 'present verifiable evidence' stage of the proceedings.

     

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  2.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:58am

    I have no doubt that the program is working quite well, at least for the consulting firms who are charging big bucks to run the program.

     

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  3.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:26pm

    I have not

    been bitten by an alligator since reading techdirt... thus, TD repels alligators. Trust me its true.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

    This is all 'voluntary'. We're all 'volunteering' to be a part of this program. Isn't 'volunteering' fun!

    The $35 fee to prove our innocence, is also 'voluntary'. You don't have to pay it, unless you 'volunteer' too.

     

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  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Wow...

    So can the public sue these people for breach of trust, false advertising, waste of time, and waste of taxpayer dollars for entitled children over the needs of the public?

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    bob, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    Be careful what you wish for....

    Now let's scroll back in time. Just a while ago, TechDirt was hyperventilating about putting people in jail. Why don't you just fine them, you said. Or even something gentler. This is the kind of punishment you wanted. If it doesn't work, it's on you.

    And we'll have to get serious punishment, the kind given to every other kind of lawbreaker. Illegal parkers get worse fines than these bozos. Illegal parkers have less recourse and it's easier to forge a license plate than an IP address.

    Face it. Be careful what you wish for. If this doesn't work, we'll bring back the real punishment.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    That's exactly what I was thinking. You ask the person getting paid to do the work whether they should keep their job. Sounds like a great way to me to get reliable information.

     

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  8.  
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    Gabriel J. Michael (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    "As it stands, nothing happens to users after the sixth strike, and nobody tracks users who move from ISP to ISP."

    Wait, in what alternate dimension are you living where users can easily switch between multiple ISPs? And can I come?

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:49pm

    you wanna be careful what you say mate. it might be a piss take or bull shit to you, but giving the industries and their representatives ideas is not a good idea. although they have already thought of them, they may be of the opinion that things like vpns are too sensitive to touch. drawing them out over something is the quickest way to get them to act on it! everyone, including the industries, know that they wont stop file sharing without closing the internet down. their problem is that they have made such dicks of themselves by the continuous 'we are going to collapse! the industry wont survive! the artists are gonna be on the bread line!' crap, they cant stop now because it would mean that they have been wrong all along!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    I think it's safe to say that no one "wishes" for having to pay a fee to defend yourself...except for you.

    No one wants punishment without due process...except for you.

    But then again, knowing that's what you got from reading all the comments, I don't expect you to understand this one any better.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    ISP's- "Great news! We're seeing a dip in bit torrent traffic. Funny how VPN traffic went up at the same time. Oh well"

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:53pm

    This is the entertainment business, pilgrim. It doesn't have to make sense. It just has to have a happy ending.
    "...she hopes more analysis will show that Internet providers sent out more first and second notices and fewer fifth and sixth notices, which would demonstrate that users stopped sharing infringing content."

     

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

  13.  
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    PRMan, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    "it's easier to forge a license plate than an IP address"

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

     

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  14.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Illegal parkers get worse fines than these bozos.

    To be charged and punished for illegal parking also requires that the matter go to court(should the recipient of the ticket contest it), prove the guilt of the accused, with the accused being able to defend themselves, and then, only after guilt has been proven, is a punishment handed out.

    Contrast that with a 'strikes' system, where simply being accused is enough to get a strike, you cannot contest the strikes until you've accumulated enough of them, and the 'court' is replaced with an 'arbitration' system, which are, more often than not, going to side with the accuser, not the accused, since if the accuser isn't happy with past 'rulings', they can always find another arbitration group/'court' who will be more 'reasonable' to them.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:01pm

    Manipulation of the public psyche, ongoing

     

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  16.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:03pm

    "traffic headed to BitTorrent networks has either remained static or increased"

    It really annoys me that people use bittorrent as a measure of copyright infringement. You might has well measure general internet traffic.

     

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  17.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Sounds like your memory is flawed. No one ever asked for stupidity. There may have been some pointing out that putting people in jail without evidence of actual wrongdoing may have been stupid.. There may have been some pointing out that it was a stupid idea and wasn't working. There may have been some pointing out that the way they are measuring the impact of piracy is smoke and mirrors with no substance.. but no one asked to pile on more idiocy based on speculation and lies.. It's always been requests for honesty and actual analysis of what we know.

    However, having your internet cut off on an "guilty until proven innocent" basis is better than going to jail on that basis imho.. So I guess it's a step forward? It's hard to tell, I think the stepper is drunk.

     

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  18.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Now let's scroll back in time. Just a while ago, TechDirt was hyperventilating about putting people in jail. Why don't you just fine them, you said. Or even something gentler. This is the kind of punishment you wanted. If it doesn't work, it's on you.

    [citation needed]

    it's easier to forge a license plate than an IP address.

    You kinda lose what little shred of credibility you have with that laughably ridiculous claim.

     

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  19.  
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    Pie Rate, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:21pm

    radio silence

    A lack of anecdote is not data, but: in the pirate lairs I visit, there has been an astonishing lack of chatter about "I got a warning notice from my ISP." Forums, blog posts and twitter: I'm not hearing of anybody getting these notices.

     

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  20.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    "This is the kind of punishment you wanted."

    Even if your premise was accurate (which, as the other commenters pointed out, it isn't), this wouldn't be an example of that.

    This is punishing people without even a minimal burden of proof and no recourse against false accusations. (Having to pay money in order to have the "right" to defend yourself, and even then being prohibited from using certain legitimate defenses is NOT recourse).

    Regardless of one's opinion on copyright law, I am amazed that anyone could consider this anything like just.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Ruben, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    Re: radio silence

    I was about to post the same thing. I do plenty of infringing activity. Never got a notice. Neither has any of my freetard buddies.

    Are there any reports of people getting notices?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Everyone should be 'hyperventilating' if jail time is being considered for civil matters. Jail is for crimes, not torts. Even bozos know that, why don't you?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Yeah, my ISP is one of those within the 6 strikes. I wish them luck in ever identifying anything as being infringing much less what that would be. Strictly because of this I now run VPN where I didn't bother in the past.

    Nor have I heard of a single solitary soul in my area that has ever heard from the 6 strikes business.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Wow. I didn't know forging licenses plates was so easy. Can you demonstrate this? I know how to do IPs rather easily but not sure how you could do a license plate.

     

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

  25.  
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    Pie Rate, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:51pm

    Re: radio silence

    Google led me to a recent Torrentfreak article reporting on a leaked document claiming that Comcast had forwarded 625,000 warnings, which (says the article) would be about 3% of their customers.

    http://torrentfreak.com/comcast-625000-copyright-alerts-140207/

    I live in Comcastland: I have trouble believing that 3% of Comcast's customers got a piracy warning and didn't talk in public about it.

     

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  26.  
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    jameshogg (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    "It's easier to forge a license plate than an IP address."

    Yeah. If there's one thing we need more of, it's more campaigning against car organisations that recklessly dish out replacement dynamic license plates for people who get out of their cars and back in again.

     

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

  27.  
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    Karl Bode (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Hah, good point. :)

     

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

  28.  
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    Karl Bode (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:22pm

    Re: radio silence

    Yeah I've noticed a significant lack of serious complaints or commentary about this by users overall. I think they're being very cautious in terms of scale at first and letting people just get used to the idea of ISP as content nanny. I think I read recently that Comcast is estimated to have sent out 650,000 notices last year, which in context of their massive 22 million subscribers is pretty puny -- and you can't tell me a much greater portion of their userbase isn't downloading copyrighted content.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: radio silence

    With Comcast it probably didn't send those notices to the right place. When I have had dealings with Comcast, they constantly has had their information mixed up.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:57pm

    I've...a friend who hasn't changed their habits and hasn't received a single notice.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: radio silence

    here, I got some begging letters from ignorant lawyers. Funnily enough only for stuff nobody here did download.

    We never got anything for stuff we actually did download.

     

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

  32.  
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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 3:25pm

    "...more analysis will show that Internet providers sent out more first and second notices and fewer fifth and sixth notices, which would demonstrate that users stopped sharing infringing content."

    Of course that's going to happen. After the ISPs see that the first four notices change nothing, they will decide that the whole thing is a waste of money, and they, won't bother to send the last couple of notices.

     

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  33.  
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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 4:03pm

    Re: radio silence

    A coworker of mine got 2 notices from Comcast and he showed me one... he now uses a VPN. He said he hasn't had any problem since then.

    Every now and then you'll see comments on TPB about a torrent being monitored and getting a letter from Comcast or another ISP, but its hard to rely on those comments.

     

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  34.  
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    JMT (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    "If this doesn't work, we'll bring back the real punishment."

    First, the whole point of the article is that nobody knows if it's working or not because nobody is releasing any data. The lack of any data proving success would strongly suggest failure.

    Second, who is this "we" you speak of? And why would anyone "bring back" methods that failed so spectacularly before?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    What real punishment? About all you did was get several thousand scared kids to own up to something they allegedly did, and we all know your track record of finding those actually guilty. All you got was all of two debatable douchebags, and a fuckton of horrible PR that forced the RIAA to scupper the "real punishment" in the first place.

    Yeah, and murderers/rapists get smaller penalties than anyone convicted of anything digitally; you want to rant about that too?

    bob just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: radio silence

    Could be likelier that they got a strike, opted for different means to download or just shrugged it off since it was a reckless false alarm, and continued as normal without getting another strike.

     

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  37.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 5:14pm

    4 years to develop.
    1 year running.
    This is what failure looks like.

    Millions of dollars spent on a system designed to create new "law" that the corporations demand be in place to stave of their bankruptcy all while having record years.
    A system still not vetted by an expert, who was never on the RIAA payroll before, and looking forward to continuing income "monitoring" the program.
    Using a software package that clearly states how they are using it is in violation of the TOS.
    A system fronted by someone who's claim to fame is she worked for AOL.
    An advocate supposed to be representing the rights of the citizens who parrots the party line of holding someone accountable because they pay a bill is perfectly fine.
    A system run by a company so "good" at what they do they DMCA'd a client's own website trying to sell content to consumers as pirated material.

    Of course they are going to claim the system works, otherwise the labels & artists might question why the fsck they keep pouring money into these **AA pipedreams that NEVER EVER work as promised.

    In the same time and for probably less money, they could have created a system that pwned the crap out of everything else out there to sell content at the price the market wants and made another fortune. Instead they focus on the illusion that they have a right to keep control over what people do with what they purchase, rather than remember they are in the business of selling content to consumers.

    The next time a lawmaker proposes that tax dollars support this industry, perhaps it would be best to ask why.
    Record sales, record profits, record salaries, and enough money left over to waste on shit programs all while staying the course with a business model everyone else can see is outdated and in trouble.

    Here's to CCI.
    You've lied, and lied, and lied all while you're being paid for doing jack shit to "solve" a problem by using a Rube Goldberg machine. That "problem" could easily have been solved for much less time and money had you just told the emperor he is naked. But good on you for subverting the legal system with your own kangaroo court.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    michael, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 5:27pm

    Only 1 notice

    I've only ever gotten one notice from my cable provider (Cox) and it was for "pirating" a show I'd never even seen.

    So since I was already being treated like a criminal, I decided to try out this piracy thing. It was awesome! Now I do all my pirating through a VPN.

    That 6-strikes thing worked out great for me.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    athe, Feb 25th, 2014 @ 9:39pm

    Re:

    It just has to have a happy ending.

    Sounds to me like they need to "massage" the numbers then...

     

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  40.  
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    techflaws (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    He's alrady in the negatives cause he started out with zero credibility.

     

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  41.  
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    techflaws (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:15pm

    Re:

    Is this the same line of "reasoning" people employ when they say not to give terrorists any ideas from action movie plots?

     

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  42.  
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    techflaws (profile), Feb 25th, 2014 @ 10:15pm

    Re:

    Or failing, rather.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Somebody show Masnick what a Sharpie looks like. He's obviously never seen one.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:05am

    Re: Re: radio silence

    "I have trouble believing that 3% of Comcast's customers got a piracy warning and didn't talk in public about it."

    You have trouble believing not everyone brags about their lawbreaking? Like the dbags that do on tech blogs? Ok.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re: Re: radio silence

    Said the dbag on a tech blog.

    DMCA vote!

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Apparently the Seattle area is an alternate dimension, since we have five, yes FIVE(!), ISPs competing for customers here: Comcast, Centurylink, Clear Wireless, Wave Broadband, and [*laugh*]Sprint PCS.

    That might explain why I've never experienced shitty service from the monopolist-wannabes at Comcast that I always hear about in other parts of the country. They actually have to compete for customers here in Seattle, even though the other four don't wield as much influence on a national level.

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Be careful what you wish for....

    Hint:
    You don't even need a sharpie, or to even get off your bum to change your IP address..

    In most case you just reboot your modem and get a new address from your ISP's DHCP.. Its all automated don't worry..

     

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


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