News.com Prevents Falsely Accused Grandmother Of Getting Kicked Off The Internet By The MPAA

from the but-who-will-protect-anyone-else? dept

One of the problems we've had with the whole "three strikes" concept that would kick people off the internet due to accusations, not convictions, of file sharing, is the fact that we hear all the time about innocent users accused of file sharing. Greg Sandoval, over at News.com recently came across a grandmother who was falsely accused multiple times of file sharing, and her ISP, Qwest, was threatening to kick her off the internet. We had not heard that Qwest had signed on with a "three strikes" program, so it's a bit of news that it's one of the companies who will accept bogus accusations. Not only that, but Qwest even told her that no other provider would grant her service because Qwest would let those other service providers "know her name and what she did." Thanks, Qwest!

The problem, of course, was that Cathi Paradiso didn't share any of the movies or TV shows she was accused of sharing, and she works from home as a recruiter -- so losing her internet access would be devastating. But the only way she got Qwest to back down was because Sandoval and News.com became interested in the story and convinced Qwest to look deeper. But if Paradiso hadn't been able to draw attention to herself from the press, she would have had no recourse. There was no one she could appeal to, and no official process to respond to the bogus claims of Hollywood. She got lucky that News.com was willing to pick up her story and contact Qwest, but what about anyone else threatened with bogus notices? Meanwhile, BayTSP, the company whose "evidence" has been shown to be flimsy and easily falsified in the past, stands by accusing her of file sharing, saying it was her own fault for having an open WiFi network, suggesting there's something inherently wrong with sharing your WiFi. Yes, the company stands by its false accusation. Nice company.

Filed Under: due process, false accusation, file sharing, three strikes
Companies: baytsp, qwest


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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Feb 2010 @ 10:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think it's a bit of a stretch to call her "innocent" in this case. I love grandmothers as much as the next guy. Heck, I still have one left and I love her. But when this grandma failed to secure her network, "innocence" becomes a little fuzzy. She agreed to take responsibility for all actions under her account, and as soon as they held her to this she flipped out. Yes, her account abuse was not intentional on her part, but ignorance is no excuse for a failure to meet the responsibilities you agreed to. If you're not able to run a network correctly, you shouldn't run one at all.

    This is simply untrue. Section 230 of the CDA makes it clear that the network operator is not liable for the actions of users on the network. Why do you suddenly want to assume otherwise?

    But of course, this site especially loves to bash and laugh at the recording/movie industry representatives, so this is just another change to get a dig in. I don't really care about those industries, as I listen to Pandora radio at work and rarely go to see movies, but this site is always super quick to get some kind of dig in on them. Those old antique idiots protecting their money! They suck!

    Weird. This is simply untrue and an odd and vaguely moronic statement. We spend an awful lot of time showing success stories in the entertainment industry. We have no interest in getting "digs" in. But we will point out activity that we believe is wrong. You can disagree but to suggest questionable motives is ridiculous.

    Is that really the best you can do?

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