US ISP Suddenlink Claims The DMCA Requires They Disconnect Users
from the more-like-Sudden-UN-link dept
TorrentFreak has the news that US cable ISP Suddenlink has implemented its own form of a three strikes policy, and defends it by falsely claiming the DMCA requires it. Torrentfreak has the transcript of a discussion between a customer who has been cut off and a Suddenlink rep blaming the DMCA:
Customer: I want to reconnect my internet service. They said I got 3 DMCA letters and they said that by law I had to be disconnected. Is that true?
Suddenlink rep: Yes, your internet was disconnected due to DMCA. When the internet is disconnected due to DMCA, it can not be reconnected for a minimum of 6 months.
Customer: The DMCA makes that requirement?
Suddenlink rep: Yes.
Customer: So you’re stating, for the record, that by law, the DMCA law, that you have to disconnect users for receiving 3 DMCA letters?
Suddenlink rep: You have no choice in the matter.
Suddenlink rep: It is the DMCA policy that it can not be reconnected for 6 months.
Suddenlink rep: It may be the DMCA policy or it may be the way we go about following the DMCA guidelines.
Customer: The law states that?
Suddenlink rep: Once the 3rd offense occurs, it can not be reconnected for 6 months.
Suddenlink Rep: The information I have on the DMCA states: This law was enacted in 1998 to protect against illegal downloading of copyrighted material like movies, music, etc. As an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Suddenlink , and other ISPs, must implement a policy of terminating internet service of customers who repeatedly share copyrighted files.
This is, of course, not true. The DMCA has no requirement that ISPs disconnect people after three accusations (not convictions) — and it especially doesn’t say that ISPs don’t need to offer a refund when they do this. For all the fighting by the record labels trying to get a three strikes policy into law and complaining about the DMCA, perhaps it makes them happy to know that some ISPs are simply pretending the DMCA is a three strikes policy.
Of course, customers may think otherwise, and may prefer to find an ISP that actually believes in due process and actually supports its users against unsubstantiated accusations of file sharing.