AT&T threatens to disconnect users accused of copyright infringement


#1

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#2

It will be interesting to see what happens once the erroneous and false accusations begin resulting in people being cut off.


#3

I can't believe I'm defending an ISP, let alone AT&T, but I don't think that's fair at all.

Its notice reads:

Using your Internet service to infringe copyrights is illegal and a violation of the AT&T Internet Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy, which apply to all users of your account, and could result in mitigation measures including limitation of Internet access or even suspension or termination.

Pursuant to Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, AT&T’s policy is to terminate services to repeat infringers under appropriate circumstances.

Based on a quick look, the relevant bit of Section 512 seems to be:

(i) Conditions for Eligibility.—
(1) Accommodation of technology.— The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider—
(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network who are repeat infringers; and
(B) accommodates and does not interfere with standard technical measures.

(emphasis mine, to highlight the language AT&T's mirroring.)

It looks to me like AT&T's just giving the very warning the DMCA says it must give if it wants to retain its ability to avoid liability for a user's infringement.


#4

I still don't understand how it's legal for anyone to monitor/spy on my packets and report what is contained in them. Expectation of privacy?


#5

They don’t have to monitor your packets. The copyright cartel gets on Bittorrent and checks what IP addresses are sharing a particular file. Unless you’re routing through Tor or some other proxy, your address is necessarily visible because it’s a peer-to-peer connection. You can’t exchange data over TCP/IP without knowing the address of the party you’re talking to.


#6

What are you on about? The notice we're discussing here says that a third-party copyright holder notified AT&T about a user's infringement.

There's nothing improper about such an entity monitoring public P2P traffic for anyone so foolish as to share the fact that they're redistributing copyrighted content.


Empathy is a core engineering value
#7

The issue isn't about upholding terms of service or the law, but in the inherent flaws in this system. In short, it boils down to punishment without evidence, trial or appeal.

Someone hacks your AT&T (or any other ISP) account and proceeds to pirate stuff and you lose your service.
What happens when an employee of the ISP makes a mistake? You lose your service.
And don't forget all those fine examples of media companies yanking YouTube vids through spurious copyright infringement accusations. Another way to end up losing your service
What happens if you end up pissing off some tech who then talks to his buddy over in the anti-piracy department so he can "show you who's boss"? You lose your service.
What if your kid ticks off some other kid, who then makes an anonymous call reporting you for infringement? You lose your service.

And there's bound to be a lot more ways in which this system can be abused. There's no checks or balances. Its all based on the accusations of a corporation.


#8

OK, there's the potential for abuse. That's nothing new, and not what this - this specific brouhaha about termination notices - is about. Here, AT&T's being taken to task for, rather than warning users about copyright issues, or threatening to downgrade speeds, putting it out there that it may have to cut off service entirely.

But when you read the full content of that notice, and read the relevant DMCA passages, AT&T totally looks like it's just doing the absolute, bare minimum it needs to here.


#9

The issue is the inherent unjustness of a corporation acting as some sort of law enforcement agency for 3rd party corporations, and acting in that manner without due process of law. It does not matter how the notices are worded, its the fact that they are being sent. And the notice is only the first step. And all as part of a system that is NOT enacted as a law, but is simply a policy and procedure.

All on a mere accusation.


#10

more interested in seeing all the competitors advertising that they won't screw you over like AT&T will.


#11

Hopefully AT%T will continue too employ Beck Bennett, regardless.


#12

Bet they only use it against the subscribers eating up the most support resources and bandwidth.


#13

Oh poor, boo-hoo ATT. They have all the means (money and more money, and lawyers) to cover their ass. But when some poor shlub individual runs afoul of these intricate "copyritght" "laws" they're on their own. Fuck that.


#14

The problem is the lack of appeal or review process. One can lose their internet access, which in this era is extremely damaging for many, for something they may not have even done. And it effects everyone in a household if the internet access is shared by a family, etc.

There need to be review/appeal processes in place before the threat of loss of service is made. Its that simple.


#15

I like how the notice claims to "help users understand their rights" and then fails to make any further mention of users' rights. I guess AT&T customers have no rights, is what we should conclude?


#16

Well, AT&T here operates OOC grand a legal authority without the compliance required (though it's quite possible they expect an exceptional, favorable default status rather than file exceptions piecemeal, when that overseeing entity was vacated.) As a transparency statement that verbiage has a hideousness of its own.

Hey where are all the predictions of M&A in images of human forms? I understand there's a big form business to be had on the...yeah.


#17

Regarding the "six-strikes" policy, people should keep in mind that downloading an album could mean getting multiple "strikes" because you can get a notice for each song.

Also, Comcast has been threatening people with account termination for awhile now (a google search indicates that this has been going on since at least 2006):

Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Subscriber:

Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made on or over Comcast's High-Speed Internet service (the 'Service'). The copyright owner has identified the Internet Protocol ('IP') address associated with your Service account at the time as the source of the infringing works. The works identified by the copyright owner in its notification are listed below. Comcast reminds you that use of the Service (or any part of the Service) in any manner that constitutes an infringement of any copyrighted work is a violation of Comcast's Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the suspension or termination of your Service account.

If you have any questions regarding this notice, you may direct them to Comcast in writing by sending a letter or e-mail to:

Comcast Customer Security Assurance
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
1800 Bishops Gate Blvd., 3rd Floor East Wing
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054 U.S.A.
Phone: (888) 565-4329
Fax: (856) 324-2940

For more information regarding Comcast's copyright infringement policy, procedures, and contact information, please read our Acceptable Use Policy by clicking on the Terms of Service link at http://www.comcast.net.

Sincerely,
Comcast Customer Security Assurance

Copyright work(s) identified in the notification of claimed infringement:

The information about the copyright works apparently varies depending on the copyright owner ...


#18

OK, there's the potential for abuse. That's nothing new

Stephen, let's just say for the sake of argument I don't like you. You're my neighbor and I hack into your wifi router without your knowledge. What's to stop me from downloading files using a reverse blocklist to be sure I target all the worst sources and continue to do it until you lose your Internet access? Nothing.

Then when you get a different ISP (if they let you), I repeat the same thing until you are effectively banned from the Internet.

Potential for abuse, indeed.


#20

A respond to
AT&T threatens to disconnect users accused of copyright infringement
By Cory Doctorow at 5:47 pm Sat, Sep 14, 2013

Internet is a well of information but not everyone is allowed to drink from a stream or gush from a certain springs because of copyright infringement and the intellectual property.

We often come across some material and from time to time we took some of these materials as quotations without paying attentions to copyright infringement even in our good intention in attributing the right of these materials to its copyrights holder.

The Question arise what is copyright infringement?
Canada laws regarding copyright infringement?
“The Copyright Act of Canada is the federal statute governing copyright law in Canada. The Copyright Act of Canada was first passed in 1921 and substantially amended in 1988 and 1997. Several attempts were made between 2005 and 2011 to amend the Copyright Act, but each of the bills (Bill C-60 in 2005, Bill C-61 in 2008, and Bill C-32 in 2010) failed to pass due to political opposition. In 2011, with a majority in the House of Commons, the Conservative Party introduced Bill C-11, titled the Copyright Modernization Act. Bill C-11 was passed and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012”

I will state some of the rights:
“Provisions of the Copyright Act of Canada
Rights granted
Copyright grants the sole and exclusive right to create and recreate a work whether wholly or substantially. It also includes the sole rights to:
• publish the work if unpublished
• perform the work in public
• to produce, reproduce, perform or publish any translation of the work,
• in the case of a dramatic work, to convert it into a novel or other non-dramatic work,
• in the case of a novel or other non-dramatic work, or of an artistic work, to convert it into a dramatic work, by way of performance in public or otherwise,
• in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work, to make any sound recording, cinematograph film or other contrivance by means of which the work may be mechanically reproduced or performed,
• in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to reproduce, adapt and publicly present the work as a cinematographic work,
• in the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, to communicate the work to the public by telecommunication,
• to present at a public exhibition, for a purpose other than sale or hire, an artistic work created after June 7, 1988, other than a map, chart or plan,
• in the case of a computer program that can be reproduced in the ordinary course of its use, other than by a reproduction during its execution in conjunction with a machine, device or computer, to rent out the computer program, and
• in the case of a musical work, to rent out a sound recording in which the work is embodied,
and to authorize any such acts.[12]”
I think a lot of good work done with Canadian copyright infringements
US laws state

“What is copyright infringement?
As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.”
United Nations through the WIBO (World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva) subsidiary define copyright in the following manners:
"Copyright and related rights are legal concepts and instruments which, while respecting and protecting the rights of creators in their works, also contribute to the cultural and economic development of nations. Copyright law fulfills a decisive role in articulating the contributions and rights of the different stakeholders taking part in the cultural industries and the relation between them and the public.

"WIPO, through its Copyright and Related Rights Sector, is committed to that crucial role."

In such treaty, the United Nations treaty different aspects of copyrights concerns are elaborated:
Scope of Copyright Protection
Copyright protection extends to expressions and not to ideas, procedures, methods of operation or mathematical concepts as such.
...

Article 4
Computer Programs
...

Article 5
Compilations of Data (Databases)
...
Article 6
Right of Distribution
...

Article 7
Right of Rental
...

Article 8
Right of Communication to the Public
...

Article 9
Duration of the Protection of Photographic Works
...
Article 10
Limitations and Exceptions
...

Article 11
Obligations concerning Technological Measures
...

Article 12
Obligations concerning Rights Management Information
...

Article 13
Application in Time
...

Article 14
Provisions on Enforcement of Rights
...

Article 15
Assembly
...

Article 16
International Bureau
...

Article 17
Eligibility for Becoming Party to the Treaty
...
Article 18
Rights and Obligations under the Treaty
...

Article 19
Signature of the Treaty
...

Article 20
Entry into Force of the Treaty
...

Article 21
Effective Date of Becoming Party to the Treaty
...

Article 22
No Reservations to the Treaty
...

Article 23
Denunciation of the Treaty
...

Etc.

While copyright and intellectual property are a major concerns for huge numbers of people, private and public sectors to protect their investments and source of living we are faced by opposed arguments and great opposition that web information should be open for the public on the alibi of humanity progress and share of knowledge while I found great numbers of those people are abusing such information and exploiting it to their own benefit.

And that was my response to the later answer who gave himself the right to wirelessly exploit his neighbour internet connection and banned him from his right to get the service he paid for.

That why I’m supporting the ATT for its act. In this sense, they have the right to punish such parasitical comportment.

This was a responds with AT&T act, and to the above rascal, and scamp comportment that abuse his neighbor connection and want to ban him from internet

That was about copyright infringements but what about intellectual property and exploiting and abusing such intellectuality. I always learned from my Professor that
Ideas what counts?

In addition while walking in the PALACE OF JUSTICE I found a heavy book on a desk in one of the court room with the title
“Intellectual Properties how laws protecting it”, or the like. That will be my next topic on how these intellectual properties are being broken by many aspect, and mainly by spying and key logger. .


#21

It's times like this that I'm glad my ISP (Antietam Cable) is relatively tiny. No per-month data caps and no enforcement of this crap "law".