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?

Filed Under: disconnects, dmca, three strikes
Companies: cox


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  1. identicon
    DragonRider, 1 Oct 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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