AT&T And Comcast's Non-Denial Denial Of Three Strikes

from the watch-this-space dept

Yesterday some stories broke about how AT&T and Comcast were “testing” the RIAA’s “three strikes” plan. As we noted, this wasn’t a surprise at all, as both companies had indicated willingness to do so — but it was amusing to see both companies avoid fully admitting it. In fact, both companies have now come out denying that they’re doing any such thing, but you have to read between the lines here, and it’s not at all difficult to see what’s almost certainly happening.

Both companies are “testing” a program by which they send infringement notices on to the users. That’s the part that both have admitted they’re doing, but they get to deny any three strikes plan, because no one’s getting cut off. But, that’s only because people haven’t been accused multiple times yet. Thus, this way they get to start heading down that path without ever making an official statement that they support the RIAA’s plan to kick people off. It’s a way to ease into such a program (they hope) without the PR headaches that would come with such a plan. But, note that neither AT&T nor Comcast will take a stand like Verizon has, where it flat out said that it will not give in to the RIAA (and, in Verizon’s case, the company does have a decent history fighting against the RIAA when it comes to protecting its customers’ privacy).

If AT&T and Comcast really want people to believe that they’re not going down this path, then why won’t they come out and say the same things that Verizon is saying?

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Companies: at&t, comcast

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Comments on “AT&T And Comcast's Non-Denial Denial Of Three Strikes”

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17 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

In Canada:
Telus sends infringement notices while Shaw doesn’t..
Telus charges you for bandwidth overages while Shaw doesn’t..
Shaw just rolled out 100mbit to home and docsis3 while Telus is lagging behind..

Instead of giving in to the riaa/mpaa/etc, why not use your safe-harbour status to make a profit.

Karl says:

“But, note that neither AT&T nor Comcast will take a stand like Verizon has, where it flat out said that it will not give in to the RIAA”

Well, AT&T’s policy guru Jim Cicconi gets pretty close in an interview with USAToday:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/technologylive/2009/03/att-were-not-tu.html

“We will never suspend, terminate or sanction any customer without some sort of legal process, like a court order,” says Cicconi. “That’s been our policy for years and that’s not going to change.”

Maybe they think their new filters will work? I imagine they are working damage control here and have other plans cooking. Probably helping behind the scenes to pass a three strikes law so they can shrug their shoulders and lay the bad PR at the feet of the already hated RIAA?

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve been using comcast for internet for several years, and in that time have never received a notice about infringement. Which I’m actually surprised at considering how much downloading I do. But the moment they adopt any sort of three strikes plan I’m out.

There are plenty of alternatives for me to jump to. I know the admin of a local ISP here that I can go too that I know won’t be sending me any “notices” about anything. The only reason I’m not using him now is because my comcast line is just that much faster (16-32Mb) than his (10-12Mb)for the same amount of money. As long as comcast keeps their heads out of their asses they’ll be fine.

A non Emus says:

Bamboozle and Hoodwink (AT&T and Comcast)

On a business class highspeed internet account with Comcast, as soon as I start torrents, I’m throttled down to dialup speeds.
Time to switch.
AT&T and their handset lockins and hokey billing practices…. Shame on the lemmings that still ante up for this hornswogglery. Europians don’t stand for this kinds of rapacious greed.
Put our consumer interests first above and beyond commercial interests.
So sick of it.

Sid (profile) says:

Just wondering

I wonder if people could sue the RIAA for defamation? The RIAA gave up suing people because they can’t prove anything. Now they are telling a third party, i.e. the ISP of suspected file sharing and getting a person’s internet access cut off. I could see a precedent being made for the world’s first class action defamation suit brought on by all the grandmothers and single moms the RIAA has misidentified in the past going after them. Maybe it’s just a fantasy, but it would sure be sweet to turn the lawsuits around on them.

That Guy says:

BS Detection

Quick note to “Anonymous Coward” on his good old Canadian notation…

“Telus sends infringement notices while Shaw doesn’t..
Telus charges you for bandwidth overages while Shaw doesn’t..”

Just a quick fyi, you missed it completely on this one. I’ve worked for TELUS for 5 years and in line with Main department that deals with the douchebags who abuse their connections because they think they are entitled to it. First off, in that entire time not once have we/TELUS ever billed someone for ‘overages’. TELUS CAN”T DO IT, the program in place to monitor usage doesn’t have a billing trigger, it is IMPOSSIBLE!!

When you download something illegal, Telus doesn’t send you a letter, we get a request from certain copyright companies about a specific IP and in turn relay the message. The information on that client is by no means released.

Finally, the ONLY time TELUS will interject on a user is when they push 300GB+ in multiple months, WHY, because there is NO reason to be pushing that kind of volume through your personal uses. If you are, then your either making money on it and thus should be a registered business and on their plans, or doing something illegal. Eitherway your taking advantage of the connection.

Oh and PS, Shaw 100M is only in Sask for those crazy farmers and it doesn’t even work. The network ports are shared to an overwhelming level and the proven speed is less than their Nitro service. Telus 15M was launched in western Canada recently and I have yet to see any service in the west that can maintain 80% of what actually comes down the pipe.

Get your facts straight, or remain a coward. Idiots like you create false impressions.

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