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AT&T Ignores Numerous Pitfalls, Begins Kicking Pirates Off Of The Internet

from the raging-over-reaction dept

We've noted for years how kicking users offline for copyright infringement is a terrible idea for a myriad of reasons. Severing access to what many deem an essential utility is not only an over-reaction to copyright infringement, but a potential violation of free speech. As France quickly learned it's also a technical nightmare to implement. Most pirates hide their traffic behind proxies and VPNs, and even if you kick repeat offenders offline, you then need systems to somehow track them between ISPs. There's also the fact that entertainment industry accusations of guilt are often based on flimsy to nonexistent evidence.

None of this is stopping AT&T, which this week quietly indicated they were going to start kicking some users off the internet for copyright infringement for the first time in the company's history.

Axios was the first to break the story with a comically one-sided report that failed to raise a single concern about the practice of booting users offline for copyright infringement, nor cite any of the countless examples where such efforts haven't worked or have gone poorly. I talked a little to AT&T about its new plan, who confirmed to me that while they'd still been sending "graduated warnings" to users after the collapse of the "six strikes" initiative, this policy of actively kicking users offline is entirely new (coming right on the heels of the company's $89 billion acquisition of Time Warner).

Though this doesn't make the idea any better, it's arguably difficult to get on AT&T's bad side under this new program. According to the company, users will need to ignore nine different warnings about copyright infringement before they lose access. AT&T repeatedly tried to make it clear that the actual users getting kicked offline (around a dozen to start) will be relatively minor.

“Based on the notices we received, we identified the customer on the account and shared with them the information we received” from copyright holders, AT&T said. “We also reached out to the customer to educate them about copyright infringement and offer assistance to help prevent the activity from continuing.”

According to AT&T, a “small number of customers” who keep receiving warnings “despite our efforts to educate them” could suddenly find themselves without an internet connection.

While the actual number of users who lose their connections will be minor to start, it's the precedent that remains the problem.

Back in 2013 you'll recall that the entertainment and broadband industries joined forces to create the copyright alert system, or "six strikes." Under that program, users were hit with an escalating number of warnings, and in some instances had their connections throttled or temporarily suspended until users acknowledged receipt of arguably one-sided entertainment industry "education" materials. The program was also widely criticized because users had to pay a $35 fee just to contest potentially-false accusations.

While the argument was that this program would scare users straight and dramatically reduce piracy, the data suggests it didn't accomplish much of anything, and by early 2017 the program had died a relatively quiet death. The entertainment industry's lesson from this adventure should have been that these efforts are a waste of time and that that this time and money should be spent on building better, cheaper alternatives to piracy. Instead, they've concluded the solution is to take this same system and make it even heavier-handed, a goal they've been steadily working toward in the years since.

The result has been numerous lawsuits against smaller ISPs like Cox and Grande Communications, insisting they should lose their safe harbor liability protections under Section 512(i) of the DMCA if they don't follow through on threats to kick users offline. And while the entertainment industry may have had some legal success on this front thanks to several legal screw ups by Cox and a particularly confused judge who believes (in stark contrast to everyone else) that 512(i) applies to ISPs, that doesn't magically mean kicking users off of the internet for copyright infringement actually helps anything or is a good idea.

And while larger ISPs that similarly have an eye on being broadcasters (like Verizon and Comcast) have actually occasionally stood up for users and recognized the perils of ISPs becoming speech and copyright nannies, AT&T, ever the pinacle of anti-consumer sentiment and bad behavior in telecom, clearly has no such reservations.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 6:45am

    If there are multiple people in an affected household, could they sue for being punished for somebody else's activity?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 7:27am

    The concept that a regulated industry and a media company can merge and produce is so complete absurd that one has to question the sanity of anyone who own stock in the resulting company.

    For basics a regulated company has every decision made by what is beneficial to politicians who base their every decision on how to be continuously elected.

    A media company bases every decision on how much profit can be generated and then siphoned of by Hollywood accounting to profit a set of elitists.

    The culture of the regulated company is DO NOT under any circumstances change anything.

    The culture of a media is if I tell you a lie and you are fool enough to believe it that is your problem.

    These two though patterns produce two different types of management, one restrained, one free wheeling.

    I am very glad I do not work for AT&T as the contradiction will become intolerable. To produce something without changing anything. I am said that I am a consumer of AT&T service as the only results will be increasingly crappy service at a higher and higher price.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 7:38am

    from the be-consistent dept

    Severing access to what many deem an essential utility is not only an over-reaction to copyright infringement, but a potential violation of free speech.

    Wait a sec.

    When Facebook or Twitter decide they don't want someone on their system, that's not a violation of the user's free speech rights because they're a private company and the First Amendment doesn't apply, but when AT&T does it, that's a violation of the user's free speech rights, because...?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 7:45am

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      Twitter/Facebook are easily replaceable, ISPs in the US are not.

      If we had 5 real choices of ISPs in a competitive market this would be "Ha, AT&T is dumb" or really AT&T wouldn't do it because you can just hop over to another ISP easy peasy lemon squeezy.

      Most places in the US the ISP has a monopoly. The ISP's monopoly is usually protected through the government via the courts (See google fiber eventually giving up, even google amounts of money can't fight the government for every step)

      ISPs prevent local governments from setting up their own internet.



      So yea, it's a private company... but it's also the only choice and that only choice is constantly enforced by the government. There's no easy line to draw here except being banned from the internet can severely affect someone's job or livelihood.

      The internet isn't a toy to many people, it's how they work, do their banking, maintain correspondence with others.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:25am

        Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

        Twitter/Facebook are easily replaceable, ISPs in the US are not.

        Is that legally relevant? My understanding is that I can be banned from a Walmart even if they're the only ones selling food within 200 miles.

        As for ISPs, what about satellite, dialup, and cellular? They all suck, but they're technically good enough for banking and email.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

          "My understanding is that I can be banned from a Walmart even if they're the only ones selling food within 200 miles."

          If that's your actual situation, you have very serious issues that started well before you did whatever you did to get kicked out of that store. I'd also assume that some human rights issue would kick in there.

          "They all suck, but they're technically good enough for banking and email."

          ...but not for other methods of communication, hence the problem. If you're barred from sending letters via USPS you can still use carrier pigeon, so what's the problem, right?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

            If that's your actual situation, you have very serious issues that started well before you did whatever you did to get kicked out of that store.

            Amazon was recently reported to be banning people with too many legitimate returns. No warning, no statement of how many is too many, but Amazon did the math and decided they'd rather not deal with some people. Nothing stops Walmart from doing the same, or from banning people for totally arbitrary reasons (as long as they're not specifically forbidden by civil rights legislation). There's no reason to think a person has to "do" anything to get banned.

            ...but not for other methods of communication, hence the problem.

            What, like videochat? VoIP and all text-chatting methods will work over dialup.

            If you're barred from sending letters via USPS you can still use carrier pigeon, so what's the problem, right?

            Nobody's saying there's not a problem. The question was about legality. Is there some legal principle that the user's level of inconvenience decides whether a company is allowed to do something? Or more to the point, has anyone ever gotten a court to reverse a private ISP's banishment of a customer?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

              the legal principal is... if you are too big of a dick they make a legal principal.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2018 @ 1:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

              "Amazon was recently reported to be banning people with too many legitimate returns."

              Amazon can do whatever they wish within the terms in their service agreement. They also have masses of competition. Amazon are one of the largest and most convenient players, but getting barred from that one website doesn't harm your freedom of speech - unlike getting barred from every website.

              The marketplace would honestly be much better if people used the available competition rather than continue to use companies they hate but whine about them while they do it.

              "There's no reason to think a person has to "do" anything to get banned."

              There is typically a reason, even if the person being banned dislikes it or disagrees with it. It's rare that it's actually arbitrary, and if so then publicity will usually get it reverse unless the underlying reason is more clear than the claim be the person being banned.

              "What, like videochat? VoIP and all text-chatting methods will work over dialup."

              Assuming you have dialup options that aren't part of the company that just banned you then, yes ,you are precluded from any forms of communication that require higher bandwidth. Need to work on a project that requires sharing large files through a Slack channel? You're screwed out of that contract.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

          >As for ISPs, what about satellite, dialup, and cellular?

          In some areas these are all handled by the same company, and if you are banned, you have also banned from them. Remember that AT&T owns a satellite, DSL, and cellular services.

          By "Dialup" I assume you are also bundling DSL into there - Also very limited. I lived in one area where DSL was contractually limited to one company and limited in speed so it would not compete with thair contracted high speed company. This company was a subsidiary of a much larger ISP, so likely also banned from there too.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

            By "Dialup" I assume you are also bundling DSL into there

            What? No, dialup is dialup—ancient modem over ancient POTS connection—not DSL. But the ancient POTS connections are regulated, meaning AT&T can't simply kick people off or stop them from accessing ISPs over it.

            For satellite and cellular, they probably can kick you off with no recourse. Sucks that they're all owned by the same company, but the government assured us that couldn't possibly ever lead to problems...

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 1:22pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

              ancient modem over ancient POTS connection

              And just how many modern websites, even with noscript and add blocking enabled, would load before the user lost all interest? Better only need text only email is using dialup these days.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 2:39pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

                Press F12 in Firefox or Chrome and look at the network tab for an idea. The Techdirt main page takes upwards of a megabyte to load, which is about 3 minutes. The text itself is only 32K though, which should take about 5 seconds; then the graphics etc. will load in the background. (If you're really curious, you can use traffic shaping to simulate a slow link, or maybe there's a browser extension by now.)

                It'll suck, but if we're talking about essential usage here, it'll scrape by as barely sufficient. And might make you wish the government regulated broadband as an essential service. But this is a country that doesn't even consider banking essential (nationwide, upwards of 7% have no bank account; locally sometimes double that).

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

      • identicon
        Andy, 11 Nov 2018 @ 11:49pm

        Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

        I have a choice of 12 to chose from and the moment my 18 month contract is up i always get a reward or price decrease to stay with the one i have been with for almost 15 years now. I am paying way below the average and get 60 -70 mb speeds.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 7:47am

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      Scale and source of the pressure.

      "Banned from Twitter" is banned from a specific portion of the internet. Since you can still go onto IG, Facebook, etc. etc., it's not as big a deal as "banned from the internet itself."

      Additionally, that source of banning does not come from law, but from private ToS. 1st Amendment prevents creation of Law that abridges the freedom of expression. In the case of ISP internet cut-off with the reason for it occurring stemming from copyright _law_, that can, yes, run up against 1st amendment violations because the ultimate source of the ban stems from government.

      Whether or not it actually does would be hashed out in court, but it's not inconsistent to say it could.

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

    • identicon
      I.T. Guy, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:14am

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      I see the point. I can live without FB & Twitter. These are optional. Internet service is not anymore.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:17am

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      I don't think it is a free speech violation. First, internet connectivity has not been deemed an essential service as traditional phone service was. There's no rule or regulation that says we the people have a right to internet connectivity. Second, the ISPs are not government agents. They can kick anyone off their tubes that they like and it's not a 1st Amendment violation.

      The Free Speech argument argument rings hollow in this case, as much as I would prefer that wasn't true.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

        I would agree that it is not a 1a issue, but I would seriously challenge your consideration that it is not an essential service. Why do you feel it is not important to daily lives?

        Remember this goes beyond social media, it is access to banking, government records, email, phone (a significant number of phones now operate exclusively via the internet), news, TV, healthcare, employment, etc...
        All require the internet.

        In many areas the internet monopolies are enforced. I lived in one area where they local CDD had a contract exclusive to Comcast. There was no other option for internet above 1.5mbs. If you lived in that area and you were kicked off, you have no way to get online.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

          Why do you feel it is not important to daily lives?

          I, personally, feel it's critical. When my internet goes down I'm in bad shape.

          However, no legislative body has yet acknowledged that. If there's no law, regulation or court precedent to combat it the ISPs are free to do whatever they like.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

            2015 FCC common carrier designation would disagree with you that there has been no regulation. They clearly saw it as an essential element of the future and daily life

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

              That designation was repealed last June.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

                Changing goalposts. You said "However, no legislative body has yet acknowledged that. If there's no law, regulation or court precedent to combat it the ISPs are free to do whatever they like."

                Clearly, the FCC under the previous administration thought otherwise and took direct actions to define the internet as essential. It is only recently, under the current administration, that the FCC beholden to the ISPs have made efforts to walk that back to favour consumer unfriendly policies. That does not change that there absolutely has been regulation to define the internet as an essential service.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 1:38pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

                  Wow, pedant much? No goalposts were moved. You read into the message what was not there.

                  The point is there are currently no laws, regulations or court precedents that would enable a person to fight back against being kicked off the net.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 2:58pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

                    Wow, pedant much? No goalposts were moved. You read into the message what was not there.

                    You need to learn the difference between past and present tense. You moved the "goalposts" from the past to the present.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 3:18pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

                      Meanwhile, someone with an axe to grind decided to veer off topic.

                      Well done, I suppose.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:40am

        Not an essential service.

        The UN declared internet access a human right in 2011. On the otherhand, from what I'd figure from our US Senate committees, they resent that we young folk expect libraries and touch-tone.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Not an essential service.

          The USA has also declared its resentment and hostility towards the UN on many occasions, before and since.

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 1:53pm

            US opinion on human rights

            The US has established that even those human rights expressed in the Constitution of the United States are forfeit when the state (or a given high-ranking official) wants them to be, including the right to live.

            So I'd be wary of US opinions long before we got to the essentiality of Internet Service.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:27am

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      One is the specific place you are speaking, one is an entire method of speaking. Imagine being told you can't print flyers and paste them on a specific wall vs. being told you cannot print anything, or being told you can't set up a soapbox in a particular mall vs. being told you are not allowed to speak anywhere.

      Also, there's the monopoly aspect - no matter what people like to pretend, Facebook and Twitter aren't monopolies. You have almost infinite choice of where to speak. On the other hand, some people in the US only have one viable ISP.

      If a person gets kicked off Twitter and goes to Gab instead then their freedom of speech is not infringed upon (as, sadly, we have seen recently). If a person gets kicked off AT&T and no longer had access anywhere online, that's infringing.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 3:14pm

        Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

        One is the specific place you are speaking, one is an entire method of speaking.

        To use your own logic, they aren't being told that they can't use the internet anywhere, just on one particular service.

        You have almost infinite choice of where to speak.

        And you have almost infinite choice of where to use the internet.

        On the other hand, some people in the US only have one viable ISP.

        So move.

        Yeah, I see how that works.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2018 @ 1:15am

          Re: Re: Re: from the be-consistent dept

          "To use your own logic, they aren't being told that they can't use the internet anywhere, just on one particular service."

          Yes, but they are also told they can only access one service where they live due to the monopoly position of the ISPs.

          "And you have almost infinite choice of where to use the internet."

          So, if one ISP bans you, they just have to m one house?

          "So move."

          How dumb do you have to be to think this is an acceptable answer for most people? Does that also work for every other service - people of Flint should just sell up and move house when their water's been poisoned (excusing the fact that nobody's going to buy the existing property due to the poisoned water, of course?)

          It's always cool to blame the victim rather than hold the people who cause the situation responsible, isn't it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 3:12pm

      Re: from the be-consistent dept

      LOL at this perfectly valid question being censored.

      You know who brought down this site? All of you hypocritical ding dongs. It’s been a joy to just watch the karma screw you.

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

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:53pm

      Talk About Intolerance

      So Mason Wheeler’s comment gets flagged, just because he raises a legitimate discussion point?

      Or is this another of those “dog-whistle” scares I keep hearing about?

      Be careful, Trump-haters: your intolerance is starting to mirror his.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 6:57am

        Re: Talk About Intolerance

        The label "trump hater" is a bit misleading isn't it?

        I would think those who you consider to be trump haters are actually part of a group of people who do not like liars, cheats and grifters. It is not trump they dislike .. it is the things he does that people dislike, they do not hate orange faces nor do they hate idiots - how can you not see this, or why do you refuse to see such things?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2018 @ 1:10pm

        Re: Talk About Intolerance

        You sound like blue. Maybe want to think about what life choices have led you down this dark path.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 7:39am

    "The concept that a regulated industry "

    LOL - wut?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:08am

    Got one of these notices recently because I torrented RockSmith for my PC. I had already bought it once one 360 for $100 at release, had to re-buy it on the Xbox One, wasn't sure if the old cable would work on the PC so I downloaded it. I rarely download anything so I don't VPN or anything. Funny Ubisoft has their people looking for that.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 8:48am

      Re:

      So instead of searching online or asking their support channels for the answer, you decided to steal the program? Something that would take far longer to download and setup than a simple search?

      This story sounds fishy. Fess up, you did not want to pay a third time, and you are complaining you got caught.

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

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, because who wouldn't want to pay for it for a Third time?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh I am in favor of buying once and that license is available for all other consoles for that same game. I think it is rediculous that you must buy on Xbox and PC separately.

          I’m just against dumb excuses for the real reason they wanted the game.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I think it is rediculous that you must buy "

            Me too, so I don't ... I dont buy their console, their game or their products. There are plenty of alternatives if you must have that sort of thing.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The mistake was paying a company like that the first time. Remember that the next time you see an Ubisoft game.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2018 @ 12:45am

        Re: Re:

        "Fess up, you did not want to pay a third time"

        People are funny like that, preferring to pay once for the content they consumer rather than being charged over and over again for the same product. Especially in a space where the trend is toward things being playable anywhere (for many other games, he would not have needed to buy a second version, because it would b on the BC program).

        If you're going to whine about lost sales in ways that gain sympathy for the "victims" of piracy,, the "that guy didn't pay us 3 times for the same thing!" attack is a losing one.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:13am

    Doesn't Axios have a relationship with AT&T?

    >Axios was the first to break the story with a comically one-sided report that failed to raise a single concern about the practice of booting users offline for copyright infringement, nor cite any of the countless examples where such efforts haven't worked or have gone poorly.

    Maybe I missed it, but I did not see a clear acknowledgment that Axios has a relationship with AT&T via HBO. Maybe it is just me, but that type of potential conflict of interest should be openly stated.

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

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:16am

    9 strikes

    Although it sounds hard to ignore 9 strikes, it's is actually easy since they can all come in at once.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:20am

      Re: 9 strikes

      Or come to unchecked contact preferences. Like only sending those notices to the @ISP email everyone gets when they signup for internet, but few actually check because who the hell wants an email tied to a single ISP anymore?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 12:42pm

      Re: 9 strikes

      What does "ignore" even mean here? We know that the warnings may not be based on anything the user did—they're just accusations—so how does AT&T determine whether they were "ignored", were bullshit that required no action, or actually led to some corrective action?

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 9:45am

    Quests

    Don Quixote went on futile quests because he wanted to be a hero. Sometimes ISPs want to be heros.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 10:42am

    how Tucker Carlson is more important that this crap is really beyond my understanding.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 12:12pm

      Re:

      Poor Tucker ... makes outrageous comments on Fox and is shocked that people show up at his place to protest his friggin bullshit.

      Poor baby

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Nov 2018 @ 1:44pm

    China cracks down on "copyright infringement"

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Nov 2018 @ 4:40pm

    Six Strikes was all about making Corporate Law the law of the land, getting people used to the idea that a corporation only needs to assert a chance you are a criminal to get you punished.

    We have Judges pointing out that an IP address isn't a person, so that makes following the actual law to hard so lets force the ISPs to cut off customers on accusations. And a Judge handed them a ruling to scare other ISPs with on a silver platter.

    Accusations are not proof of guilt.
    The law says we have to cut off repeat infringers!!!
    Well that is a term in the law, that Congress has been to fscking stupid to define, but looking at the rest of the legal system you need way more than 3 schoolgirls screaming witch to impose penalties on people.

    Perhaps we need to send over the list of flawed DMCA notices Google & other services get (not to mention they don't host the content so the DMCA notices shouldn't goto them) & a big pile of the copyright troll cases, where armed with a millisecond of 'proof' to sue the name on the bill, fall apart b/c it isn't actual evidence, done with tech they refuse to have independently verified, that they 'support' with long lists of content they have no interest in they have the same millisecond of evidence supporting, get passwords & hardware - violate court instructions looking into & then declare a lack of evidence is proof of guilt.

    They demanded the law be a certain way, they got it... now they are pissed it costs them anything to 'defend' their rights after decades of making everyone else bear the costs of 'protecting' their IP for them.

    Piracy is a symptom of ignoring consumers.
    You've shit on them with limitations, DRM, forced don't steal this ads (on a fscking plastic disc I paid you for), and being treated like shit b/c you got a special deal that only a certain store gets to carry the version with closed captions...

    Gee... throwing billions into the coffers of people who swear this time they will end piracy... what do they call doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result??

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

    • identicon
      John Smith, 10 Nov 2018 @ 2:48am

      Re:

      "We have Judges pointing out that an IP address isn't a person, so that makes following the actual law to hard so lets force the ISPs to cut off customers on accusations. And a Judge handed them a ruling to scare other ISPs with on a silver platter."

      Copyright is a constitutional right. If we make it impossible to efnroce, we might as well abolish it. IP addresses are used to impute criminal liability for threats. The IP owner can perhaps make an affirmative defense that they didn't know who had the keys to their car.


      "Accusations are not proof of guilt.
      The law says we have to cut off repeat infringers!!!
      Well that is a term in the law, that Congress has been to fscking stupid to define, but looking at the rest of the legal system you need way more than 3 schoolgirls screaming witch to impose penalties on people."

      The courts can determine what the term means.
      Two strikes would appear to be correct as that is "repeat" infringement.


      "Perhaps we need to send over the list of flawed DMCA notices Google & other services get (not to mention they don't host the content so the DMCA notices shouldn't goto them) & a big pile of the copyright troll cases, where armed with a millisecond of 'proof' to sue the name on the bill, fall apart b/c it isn't actual evidence, done with tech they refuse to have independently verified, that they 'support' with long lists of content they have no interest in they have the same millisecond of evidence supporting, get passwords & hardware - violate court instructions looking into & then declare a lack of evidence is proof of guilt."


      The owner of the IP can be presumed a pirate until affirmatively refuted by the IP owner. If a camera caught a hit-and-run car's license plate, it can be presumed the owner was driving, absent evidence to the contrary.


      "They demanded the law be a certain way, they got it... now they are pissed it costs them anything to 'defend' their rights after decades of making everyone else bear the costs of 'protecting' their IP for them."

      ISPs aren't defending the copyright holder's rights, but their own immunity from liability, which requires cooperation with litigants who were pirated.


      "Piracy is a symptom of ignoring consumers."

      Just like burglary of grocery stores is a symptom not of criminal behavior by the thieves, but of overpricing by the store. Those who do not wish to pay for work can simply not steal it. There is no justification for felony piracy, and piracy is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Those who feel entitled to steal the creative work of others have incredible hubris.



      "You've shit on them with limitations, DRM, forced don't steal this ads (on a fscking plastic disc I paid you for), and being treated like shit b/c you got a special deal that only a certain store gets to carry the version with closed captions..."


      The correct response is to just not buy these products rather than to steal them.


      "Gee... throwing billions into the coffers of people who swear this time they will end piracy... what do they call doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result??"

      An internet which can't stop piracy is an internet which eneds to be rebuilt so that it can.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 6:33am

        Re: Re:

        Copyright isn't impossible to enforce.

        Just show some restraint when doing it. Forethought would be nice too.

        Because there's only so many grandparents you can sue before your benefit of the doubt is irreparably shitted upon. (Bonus hint: this is even more so when said grandparents are dead.)

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

        • identicon
          John Smith, 10 Nov 2018 @ 6:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If an IP address isn't sufficient for surviving a motion to dismiss, then copyright does become unenforceable.

          My personal view is that individual piracy is not the problem, but advertising it (through torrents, etc.) is. As long as the marketing is cut off the damage to the creators is greatly minimized, since few will know how to find the pirqated material, and asking for it would be covered under the marketing that triggers enforcement.

          An analogy is our old laws against gambling, which don't prosecute the poker players at an illegal game, but where the house is prosecuted for setting up the and profiting from it.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 7:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Apparently laws are enforced when there is money involved.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 7:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If an IP address isn't sufficient for surviving a motion to dismiss, then copyright does become unenforceable.

            This didn't use to be the case. Up until the point where judges started asking if your IP addresses were actually accurate. Most copyright holders chose to dismiss.

            Not my problem your standards are this shoddy.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 12:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is not unenforceable if someone were to spend some time looking at the situation and come up with a non bullshit answer that everyone could compromise on ... oh wait, they do not compromise as they do not understand wtf that means.

              Hmmm - too bad, so sad.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 11:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            An analogy is your flaccid cock. Which refused to harden no matter how much you yell at it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re:

        "Copyright is a constitutional right."

        So what .. so is voting. Might as well abolish voting - amirite?

        wait ..... is that you donald?

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 11 Nov 2018 @ 7:34pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Their assertion is actually worse than that in that copyright isn't in fact a constitutional right(something I'm almost dead positive they've been informed of before, such their assertion isn't a mistake, it's yet another lie). At best the constitution allows for copyright, under the limits that it serve the public.

          Copyright could be eliminated entirely overnight in the US if it were decided that it was harming rather than helping the public and not a single constitutional right would have been violated.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re:

        "The owner of the IP can be presumed a pirate until affirmatively refuted by the IP owner."

        - Guilty until enough money is coughed up for an attorney.


        "If a camera caught a hit-and-run car's license plate, it can be presumed the owner was driving"

        - You might presume, however - there are laws against lynching. Traffic laws vary widely across the nation and therefore it is a bad example as it is nowhere near the same as copyright "enforcement" - but you knew that.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 4:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except a properly filed lawsuit isn't "lynching."

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Nov 2018 @ 6:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What properly filed lawsuit? All you have are subpoenas. Which judges asked for justification.

            Which your lawyers chose to run away from instead of substantiating them. If they were so properly filed why choose to dismiss?

            Your empire is built on a foundation of sand, John. And it's crumbling beneath your feet.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2018 @ 10:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Except a properly filed lawsuit isn't "lynching.""

            Oh please - I've read all sorts of silliness over the years from those who profess to fight the pirates at all costs ... who was that one guy who wanted to blow up the computers of pirates - from Utah I think, he is a very good musician - LOL.

            Yes, it is similar to lynching. We doan need no stinkin' warrants 'n proof ... go get the IP and we'll sting 'em up.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Nov 2018 @ 7:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "Copyright is a constitutional right."

        And yet it has been turned into a constitutional burden upon everyone else.

        Free DMCA notices - Google wastes how much money dealing with flawed DMCA notices, why is Google having to pay the costs to 'protect' the rights of copyright holders?

        Google is NOT the internet - Yet somehow notices meant to be sent to the places HOSTING the bad content flood Google who merely indexes information... I can't find that provision of the law that says Google has to jump because HBO demanded their own site be delisted for piracy.

        "Two strikes would appear to be correct as that is "repeat" infringement."

        You are a pedophile.
        You are a pedophile.

        We should now strip your rights, because I repeated something that I have the thinnest thread of evidence to support.


        "The owner of the IP can be presumed a pirate until affirmatively refuted by the IP owner. If a camera caught a hit-and-run car's license plate, it can be presumed the owner was driving, absent evidence to the contrary."

        Funny no users owns the IP address assigned to them, they belong to the ISPs. Did you miss that day in civics about our legal system? Innocent until PROVEN guilty.
        Your position seems to be evidence provided by those who financially benefit (and do everything in their power to hide that fact) based on the outcome of the accusation would NEVER EVER fib to get paid.
        (Did you just skip the semester we spent unraveling Prenda, Malibu Media, and a host of other shake down artists extorting cash by abusing the DMCA system & the courts?)

        Oh and your photo of the car thing fails... even red light cameras need to capture a picture of the driver as evidence to be included to be taken seriously. See also: The Flight Attendant who wore a series of animal masks when caught on speed cameras & the cases were thrown out b/c no one could identify the driver.

        "ISPs aren't defending the copyright holder's rights, but their own immunity from liability, which requires cooperation with litigants who were pirated. "

        Yes they are. Refusing to forward DMCA notices where a shitty extortionist flooded the ISP until their mail system collapsed under the weight, shouldn't be a requirement. Sending hundreds of notices for the alleged piracy of 1 song with the notices generated milliseconds apart seems like an abuse of a shitty written law that seems to keep the law tilted towards everyone else bearing the burden of copyright holders temper tantrums.
        They weren't pirated, no one sank their ship, stole their cargo, & sold them into slavery (although I am open the idea for some of these deserving scumbags), their copyright was infringed. Even under the insane concept of they should be rewarded up to $150K for this horrible horrible thing... the law does state that is the cap for a single copyright. Prenda managed to make MILLIONS of dollars from shitty porn clips well in excess of the limitation in the law... but everyone else needs to follow the law but not them.

        $150K is a stupid number from a bygone age when making a copy required a large investment into machinery to produce the copy & the only reason anyone would do it was to profit. We have bad actors abusing the system to make millions from shit content (while infringing copyright is bad, awarding the copyright holder $15K for content available for $0.99 seems unhinged).


        "Just like burglary of grocery stores is a symptom not of criminal behavior by the thieves, but of overpricing by the store. Those who do not wish to pay for work can simply not steal it. There is no justification for felony piracy, and piracy is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Those who feel entitled to steal the creative work of others have incredible hubris."

        Wow can you assholes not afford to get a better PR team?

        If I steal an orange it is gone.
        If I copy content... it is still there.

        There is no reason hitting control c control v should be a felony, except it gives some cartel members a hardon & something to blame for shafting the artists while lining their pockets more.

        "Those who feel entitled to steal the creative work of others have incredible hubris."

        Why are the music labels not in prison?
        They STOLE content from artists, SOLD that content without permission or compensation, & then claimed it was just an oopsie. How is it when they do it, it's a boo boo (that earned them shit tons of money & under the law the damages shoudl have hit 6 billion IIRC) and when others do it it is a crime against humanity on par with murdering puppies??


        "The correct response is to just not buy these products rather than to steal them."

        The correct response is to not treat people who paid you worse than those who haven't. Again copying isn't stealing, I checked we have an unlimited supply of 0's & 1's and even with supply being infinite (See also: 'Approaching Infinity' written by some dude with some tiny website :D ) why are costs stuck in the model where physical things had to be transported? Why did they ignore a market of millions, was it the sea monsters??? Did they think keeping Oz on a several year delay for content was the best marketing plan when they content was being spoiled by people on Facebook??


        "An internet which can't stop piracy is an internet which eneds to be rebuilt so that it can."

        So build your own idiot. Stop demanding everyone else build it for you. This thought should occur by the idea of selling a better product, but they no longer give a shit about selling product as much as they do looking for ways to gain more control over the people who paid them & try to extract more money over & over and the pursuit of the money they imagine they are losing. Copyright holders have worked to harm society & themselves by operating in fear... (See also: the VCR will end Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or wait we made shit tons of cash).


        Rating - 3/10
        Stop recycling the same fscking talking points.
        NEVER EVER pick a fight with someone with intimate knowledge of the copyright extortion mills since the day Dunlap, Grub & Weaver formed a spin-off to hide their extortion mill for Uwe Bolle.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Deepak singh, 9 Nov 2018 @ 11:13pm

    RE: RE:

    Yes, because who wouldn't want to pay for it for a Third time?

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

  • identicon
    Probitas, 10 Nov 2018 @ 5:12pm

    Alleged is not Guilt

    How can a crime be a crime if there hasn't been a court case? Crimes require a person be charged, tried, and convicted. Something is very very wrong with this.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2018 @ 10:09am

      Re: Alleged is not Guilt

      Many crimes are committed and not prosecuted, for example - the 2008 collapse of the world economy - everyone knows who is responsible and yet some how it is just too difficult ot go after the perps.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Nov 2018 @ 7:56pm

        Re: Re: Alleged is not Guilt

        It would have been "hard" to bring the case... and pay no attention to the lawyer who was in charge of making that decision who now has a spiffy job at Goldman Sachs.....

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

  • icon
    Bigg Boss (profile), 11 Nov 2018 @ 11:49am

    Something is very wrong with all of this because there hasn't prove yet this is a crime.

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

  • identicon
    Andy, 11 Nov 2018 @ 11:47pm

    America!!!!

    The only country in the world that has both parties in a mobile phone conversation charged for the call, seriously america catch up ......Oh and the costs are more than what most countries charge customers for a call.

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


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