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Comcast, Pando Partner For "P2P Bill of Rights"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the until-we-figure-out-a-sneakier-way-of-doing-it dept.

The Internet 136

Bibek Paudel writes "Comcast on Tuesday announced that it would partner with Pando Networks to create a P2P bill of rights for file-sharing networks and Internet service providers. Comcast and Pando will meet with industry experts, other ISPs, and P2P companies in order to come up with a set of rules that would clarify how a user can use P2P applications and how an ISP can manage file-sharing programs running on their networks. Last month, Comcast announced that it had reached an agreement with BitTorrent whereby Comcast agreed to alter its network management practices, and BitTorrent acknowledged that Comcast has the right to police its own network. Comcast's battle with P2P networks started last year after the Associated Press published an article that accused Comcast of blocking peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent. Comcast admitted to delaying P2P traffic during peak times, but denied that any file-sharing applications were being completely blocked."

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Article 1: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23151636)

If you steal - excuse me, infringe - shit with P2P, you get disconnected, fined and jailed.

Re:Article 1: (4, Insightful)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151736)

This isn't about the legality or otherwise of the content being transferred. P2P is not only used for "infringing" content, and Comcast isn't blocking or slowing it down because someone might be transferring something illegal. Your raising of the copyright infringement issue is a red herring. The real issue here is net neutrality.

Re:Article 1: (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23154252)

So you're saying that if you're downloading something over a torrent your packets should have the same priority as someone who's watching a YouTube video? That probably explains why YouTube playback is so crappy during peak hours.

Re:Article 1: (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151854)

and if they take that stance they'll find that *they* are going to be sued as they have now lost common carrier exemption.

Re:Article 1: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152792)

They never had common carrier to begin with.

Re:Article 1: (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153218)

ISP aren't common carriers. Although in the US they have some protections under the DMCA when it comes to copyrighted material.

Your ISP could block google tomorrow. This is not illegal, unless you have an agreement with them that says they won't. But broadband internet is not the type of product to come with such guarantees.

The ISPs are supposed to act in a "neutral" manner but this does not bear the weight of law.

Re:Article 1: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23153536)

How will they lose something they don't have?

If you keep this up, you'll lose your title of "Smartest Slashdotter".

Re:Article 1: (2, Insightful)

Lunarsight (1053230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153778)

I trust Comcast in coming up with a P2P bill of rights about as much as I trust the fox in coming up with stipulations for how close it can legally get to the henhouse.

LEGISLATE IT.

Do not trust these slimeballs to police themselves.

Ruh-roh (2, Informative)

trickonion (943942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151640)

If comcast wants it... no good will come of it

Re:Ruh-roh (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151726)

Comcast admitted to delaying P2P traffic during peak times, but denied that any file-sharing applications were being completely blocked.

Except that was actually proven, and they even admitted to, is like standing outside someone's house patched into their main phone line and then randomly hanging up on people.

Time to watch this with as many eyes as we can get. Letting Comcrap do this is kind of like putting Mohammed, Lenin, Stalin, Che Guevara, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, and Chairman Mao in a room to write a declaration of human rights.

Re:Ruh-roh (2, Interesting)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151812)

Wow - not only a very speedy Godwinism, but lumping Muhammad in with mass murderers and dictators. I do love a rational argument!

Re:Ruh-roh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23151922)

I think he meant the Alie (however you spell that boxers name) one.

Re:Ruh-roh (-1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151948)

lumping Muhammad in with mass murderers and dictators

Kind of like comparing apples and apples.

Except I don't think Mao and Che ever got around to fucking a 6-year-old like Mohammed did.

Re:Ruh-roh (1)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152306)

Child marriage was not a particular taboo in medieval times, and was pretty widespread, particularly amongst higher-class people. I'm not saying it's right, but that you're putting a highly emotive and anachronistic slant on a practice which Muhammad's contemporaries would probably never have dreamed of calling into question.

Re:Ruh-roh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152704)

so is that:

A) They just weren't enlightened times, so Muhammed didn't know any better.

or

B) Everyone else was doing it too!

In either event, wouldn't that call into question following any prophet from an earlier era? Or do we just make apologies for religious leaders now?

Oh yeah....we do.

Re:Ruh-roh (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153182)

I'm not saying it's right, but that you're putting a highly emotive and anachronistic slant on a practice which Muhammad's contemporaries would probably never have dreamed of calling into question.

Funny how this old arab pervert's example continues quite regularly into the modern day [yementimes.com] .

Or how about this [petitiononline.com] ?

Or how about the fact that non-muslims still have to try to stop this in nigeria too [reuters.com] ?

Tells me a lot that the "ultimate example" of how to behave in the Muslim religion is a stinky, homicidal arab perv.

Re:Ruh-roh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152172)

I'd mod you "-1 Capitalist Tool" if I had the mod points!... oh, I do. Then I just rather call you an ignorant fool instead.

Yup. (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152336)

The reason Comcast wants it is because they want it for all the reason that the original Bill of Rights was considered dangerous: it will be an exclusive enumeration of all the rights you have. All other "rights" will exist at the good will of Comcast. Not to mention that I expect all kinds of weasel words in it that mean that Comcast's Bill of Rights will be nothing more than "You're allowed to use P2P for as long as we say you can, and we're allowed to change our mind at any time and without warning".

I hope this goes down in flames.

Re:Yup. (1)

neochubbz (937091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23154224)

The reason Comcast wants it is because they want it for all the reason that the original Bill of Rights was considered dangerous: it will be an exclusive enumeration of all the rights you have. All other "rights" will exist at the good will of Comcast. Not to mention that I expect all kinds of weasel words in it that mean that Comcast's Bill of Rights will be nothing more than "You're allowed to use P2P for as long as we say you can, and we're allowed to change our mind at any time and without warning".

I hope this goes down in flames.

You're forgetting the 9th and 10th Amendments. [archives.gov] From the Ninth, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Cover for damage (1)

guy5000 (1211440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151656)

Its an attempt to get egg of their face.

Amazing (1)

speroni (1258316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151690)

It's amazing what lengths companies will go to in order to anger the customers that use their service the most.

Re:Amazing (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152894)

they'll anger them all they like (in the name of profit) as :

a. most of them won't notice or won't care.

or

b. they have no other reasonable option for internet access.

Fuck off Comcast. Users will use as they see fit! (4, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151694)

Users will use technology as they see fit. That is the ONLY thing everyone need know.

Re:Fuck off Comcast. Users will use as they see fi (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152218)

Well said. The only thing they are spouting here is that users will be given permission to use their service that was already contractually given to them, instead of illegally manipulated. There does not need to be a bill of rights. Laws already are in place to manage what ISPs and end users are allowed to do. End of story. If Comcast is getting scared because of FCC fines/class action lawsuits they only have themselves to blame for how they "managed" this, not the end users.
Fuck off...and go to hell.

Re:Fuck off Comcast. Users will use as they see fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152688)

I think that is why Russia recently passed laws requiring WiFi equipment to be registered, because they know that dynamic networks will be the norm and the only way for individuals to ultimately have information freedom. I must admit I did enjoy broadband speeds when I had DSL/cable, but really do miss the freedom I had to just switch internet providers when I had dial-up. Oh well so goes progress.

Re:Fuck off Comcast. Users will use as they see fi (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152914)

Careful...there is such a thing as an undesirable customer. Comcast could easily say, "You're costing us too much, we don't want your business." Then what?

Re:Fuck off Comcast. Users will use as they see fi (1)

Camael (1048726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153850)

Well, if Comcast is too unreasonable about what is "allowed" on their networks, they will end up with a lot of undesirable customers. Bearing in mind economies of scale and the fact that most of their overheads are fixed (eg server/line maintenance costs) losing a substantial chunk of their clientele is bound to hurt. Plus theres an old saying, "nature abhors a vacuum"... I would not be surprised to see a upstart company challenging Comcast if they see a potential to make a profit off these disgruntled customers.

The Findings (4, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151696)

"Well, we've determined that information doesn't want to be free. Therefore, all BitTorrent or P2P traffic not sponsored by one of our esteemed peers will be allowed 100MB a month. Over that and your bill will go up."

Tagged: itsatrap (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151700)

What makes Comcast think that will get rid of their bad reputation?

This is just posturing to look like they did something. Also, I doubt they'd put anything meaningful that didn't please Our Dearest Stockholders from on high.

Re:Tagged: itsatrap (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152770)

Oh yeah, someone at Comcast is definitely "on high".

The easiest way to fix this is to get more competition into the arena, instead of Comcast/Optimum/Roadrunner OR Verizon. Once there's three companies, four companies, etc. in an area, things would start to change pretty quickly.

"bill of rights"? ugh... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151706)

The phrase "bill of rights" is and has been for some time corrupted by idotic proposals like this. I cannot hear it without becoming nausious.

Discuss.

Re:"bill of rights"? ugh... (3, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152028)

I demand a Bill of Rights for Slashdot Trolls!

Re:"bill of rights"? ugh... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152456)

I demand a Bill of Rights for Slashdot Trolls!

They've got one, stuffed full of goodies, such as "posting as AC", "sockpuppet accounts" and the ever popular "I whore half the time to be able to troll the other half".

Re:"bill of rights"? ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152504)

Me too!

Re:"bill of rights"? ugh... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152184)

Besides, "List of Demands" would be more accurate.

Government conspiracy!!!! (0)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151728)

Does anyone else find it unusual that all this comes just a day after the FBI requested more $ to spy on, and prosecute, the downloading of "illegal" files on the Internet, and use the system that spies on the Internet to find people using BT?

Every Meaningful Phrase Gets Dragged Through Mud (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151752)

I'm tired of hearing "bill of rights" applied in ridiculous situations by people or organizations who want to make it seem like they're being oppressed.

It seems to me that every meaningful phrase or term -anything that elicits a positive reaction in people- eventually gets co-opted by a political or corporate organization and turned into a complete farce. Sometimes it recovers, sometimes it doesn't.

When's the last time you heard the word "wholesome" in a BS-free situation?

Re:Every Meaningful Phrase Gets Dragged Through Mu (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151938)

In other words, you want a Bill of Rights Bill of Rights!

Re:Every Meaningful Phrase Gets Dragged Through Mu (4, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151942)

I'm tired of hearing "bill of rights" applied in ridiculous situations by people or organizations who want to make it seem like they're being oppressed.
Except, in this case, the people using the term "bill of rights" are the ones trying to do the oppressing. They want to use this "bill of rights" to fend off legislation (which, ironically, would be an actual BILL of rights) with actual penalties for violations.

WHOOSH (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153920)

Parent:

Except, in this case, the people using the term "bill of rights" are the ones trying to do the oppressing.
Grandparent:

by people or organizations who want to make it seem like they're being oppressed.
I believe the point was that they are the oppressors, but are covering up by saying they are the victims.

Re:Every Meaningful Phrase Gets Dragged Through Mu (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152084)

Not to mention that throwing around "Bill of Rights" tends to ignore the entire context in which that document was written... and the fact that the document almost wasn't written at all.

What bothers me so much about this is that it's a transparent attempt to head off Congress, with the results not being pro-consumer.

Last month, Comcast announced that it had reached an agreement with BitTorrent whereby Comcast agreed to alter its network management practices, and BitTorrent acknowledged that Comcast has the right to police its own network.
Two companies coming to an agreement does nothing to resolve issues of Net Neutrality, especially when the agreement explicitly seems to disavow Net Neutrality.

I'd much rather have legislation I can comment on, than self-regulation which is not open to the public.

There's a reason for that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152680)

The reason people use them is because they work. They only stop when they stop working (becoming meaningless, or phony enough). As long as people have reason to manipulate us, they will continue to do it.

Unfortunately, there's no way to stop that, though you may be able to stem it a little by highlighting it when someone is misusing words like that.

Aah, the beauty of the english language. (5, Funny)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151772)

"We haven't blocked any specific p2p applications. BitTorrent packets may have been indefinitely delayed, however."

Re:Aah, the beauty of the english language. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152146)

We haven't blocked any specific p2p applications. BitTorrent packets may have been indefinitely delayed, however

Well, they cut off torrents, but that could have been from any number of applications: utorrent, azureus, World of Warcraft, etc. So clearly, they're not lying at all.

More proprietary garbage (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151778)

If you remember, Bittorrent Inc made a similar deal with Comcast to protect their transfers. Now another P2P company peddling a proprietary solution has done the same.

Where does this leave non-commercial P2P on Comcast. Are we going to see a situation where proprietary P2P is whitelisted, while everything else is throttled? Is Comcast going to move towards a protocol agnostic, but vendor specific throttling strategy?

Re:More proprietary garbage (1)

guy5000 (1211440) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151832)

how whould this work w/o packet inspection all traffic protocols look the same

Re:More proprietary garbage (2, Insightful)

catch23 (97972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151994)

I've been using BT on Comcast for some time now using encrypted streams. So far so good, fast transfers too. I say let Comcast throttle as much as they want, sooner or later users will adapt to using full end to end encryption rendering it basically impossible for them to block without potentially screwing up someone else's https connection to their banking website. I say let them throttle, they'll force all application developers to use encryption which is a good thing.

Dupe (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151792)

This was already covered [slashdot.org] less than a week ago.

Re:Dupe (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151960)

Indeed. Not only is this story a dupe, but it comes much too late to count as "news".

Yes, but who cares about BitTorrent the company (0, Troll)

GalacticLordXenu (1195057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151814)

This is a publicity move.

BitTorrent, the company, has no say over how people use bittorrent/bittorrent-inspired clients on any other networks. Whether the company says Comcast has a right to police its own network. Technically, they do, but not in a way that is misleading the consumer--companies need to be up front about what they are offering, and Comcast has both broken access to the internet on on BT client in a manner beyond what one obviously expects through normal internet operation, and Comcast has lied all the way about it. It's not a net neutrality issue, it's a contractual issue. If someone sells you a car that they say works great turns out to have a shot engine and they knew about it, then that is misleading the consumer.

Regardless of that, though, Comcast just wants the general public and politicians to think that by getting some sort of acknowledge from the company that now makes the BT client/runs the official network, or the bittorrent company site.

It says nothing of all non-Bittorent-the-company sites. This, again, is just a diversion, a trick to play on the general public.

Re:Yes, but who cares about BitTorrent the company (0, Troll)

GalacticLordXenu (1195057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151884)

That is, of course, if they are assuming that the networks involved is the "official" bittorrent download site; I may have misread the article.

Comcast talking == NULL (5, Informative)

funchords (937529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151830)

Tuesday, Comcast Corporation and Pando Networks announced that they will lead the industry to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" for users and ISPs. With an FCC hearing on Comcast's anti-peer-to-peer practices scheduled for later this week, this is hardly a surprise. Once again, Comcast makes another sweetheart-sounding deal, but at the wrong time, and with the wrong sweetheart.

It takes a special kind of arrogance for a company that sells Internet Access to team up with another company that sells Content Delivery and together decide what rights and responsibilities that the world's Internet users should have.

As in its earlier "deal" with BitTorrent, Inc., Comcast's announcement tuesday doesn't change any of the facts it faces: in 2006, it assured Congress that network neutrality laws were not necessary, saying it would not "deny, delay, or degrade" its customers in order to deal with traffic congestion. Within a year it was caught secretly doing exactly that! Even after a long string of deceptive and deflective statements and tactics, Comcast continues to degrade their traffic tuesday.

As was the case in the BitTorrent "deal," neither Comcast Corporation nor Pando Networks represents the millions of customers and other members of the Internet community who were impacted when Comcast secretly launched its anti-P2P attack.

Tuesday's announcement came less than 48 hours from the US Federal Communication Committee's public hearing at Stanford University. There, the FCC heard from two panels of experts followed by public testimony on the Comcast incident specifically as well as similar industry practices in general.

And, just like in the BitTorrent deal, we also saw Comcast and Pando Networking executives start to explain why tuesday's "deal" signals that Network Neutrality regulation is not needed in the Broadband Marketplace.

Comcast talking = nothing.

This is a company with a sub-prime credibility rating.

Robb Topolski

Re:Comcast talking == NULL (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152086)

Mod the parent up please.

This is a pure public relations [wikipedia.org] play and marketing bullshit move on the part of Comcast (i.e. so that they can muddy the waters and look like they are doing something in front of politicians and average citizens who don't know any better without actually changing their ways). They were caught red handed doing exactly what they said they wouldn't do and now they are trying to capitalize on the whole "bill or rights" buzz that seems to be infecting marketers these days who are trying to spin the "quality of service" parts of their businesses to the press to wiggle their way out of a tight spot without actually changing their lying and cheating ways.

Please include isp full disclosure! (4, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151838)

I'm all for a bill of rights. Among the enumerated rights should be:

Any p2p user shall have available to them a detailed and complete description of what network services their monthly fees entitle them to. This will include all of the usage limits which may trigger account suspension or termination.

This information is required for any p2p user to make an informed choice among broadband providers. I don't particularly care if they advertise "unlimited" service, but there needs to be an asterisk which points to how they define unlimited.

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23151882)

What choice? Your choice is either the local monopoly or dialup.

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151974)

Unfortunately, that's often the case - but not always.

Where I live (Portland, OR) I can get dsl, cable modem, or other business class services (think T1's). Some people I work with have Verizon's fios, but I don't think that's available in my neighborhood yet.

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152972)

Anything that comes with a real service level agreement, like a T1 will, is going to cost an arm and a leg. As opposed to broadband, where it's cheap and you take what you can get.

I'm OK with that, but I hate how much of the marketing speaks otherwise. I feel like if a company uses the word "unlimited" at any time, in any part of their promotions, and they give you anything less than that, there should be extremely strict consequences.

I'd love to see fios come to town, but I'm kind of rural right now.

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (1)

lunixbochs (1094435) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152636)

..or satellite?

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152156)

Remove the word 'p2p' from your comments. It still makes sense, just it applies to all internet users.

Which is what it should.

(Unlimited means unlimited. If they don't mean unlimited, they they need to say that. ISPs in New Zealand straight up advertise "2GB/Month" or similar, for example.)

Re:Please include isp full disclosure! (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152202)

Agreed. Not only that, but they need to stop hiding behind the word "disruptive", since the only thing that someone can determine in advance that would be "disruptive" to the network is a DoS attack. Everything else they call "disruptive" is just making things up as they go.

Simple. How about: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23151858)

"All P2P traffic is to be treated the same as all other traffic?"

In this case "bill of rights" is a euphemism for "limitation of rights".

Wolf guarding the henhouse. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151998)

Is this fooling anyone?

No, seriously.

Anyone?

Vote with your 'net dollars (4, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152004)

The solution is simple: get rid of your Comcast 'net service, just keep cable. Get FIOS from Verizon or even DSL.

Comcast is a publicly traded company and as such here's what's important to them.....

Making money for their stockholders.

That means stopping the things that zap their resources. I don't think anyone will disagree that BitTorrent does exactly that.

Comcast is going to do what is best in their corporate interest. Surprised? Don't be. It's business. Vote with something they DO understand, your monthly $$$

*raises hand* I'd like to disagree (2, Interesting)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152128)

"That means stopping the things that zap their resources. I don't think anyone will disagree that BitTorrent does exactly that."

In some cases it, no doubt, does sap resources. But, let me ask you this - which is cheaper for an ISP: to move bits between users of their own network, or to move bits from other networks on the Internet to their users? Maybe I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that shuffling data around inside the ISP's network is probably much faster and cheaper than moving data across the limited links the ISP has between itself and other networks.

If I have 10000 users that all want the same data (say the latest patch for Wow - which I believe uses a customized version of bittorrent for distributing patches), I would think it would be *much* more efficient to use P2P to copy the data around almost entirely inside my fiber network, than to transfer that data 10000 times from Blizzard's server across an Internet backbone link.

If that is the case, I would think it would be entirely within the ISP's self-interest to *promote* the use of P2P, to lessen the amount of traffic on upstream Internet links. Plus, it has the potential to allow their users to appear to get much better performance from their 'unlimited broadband' links than the ISP can really give if all data has to come from the uplink, meaning happier customers paying $X/month.

I should add. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152234)

I don't disagree with your post in general, just that specific statement, I think, might be somewhat incorrect. But, it is somewhat correct to, in that, one could argue that, with regards to *illegal* file-sharing, sans P2P, there would be no *legal* source for that data, so that would just be less traffic, period, to move around the network and the Internet. But the problem is, there's no good way that anyone's found *yet* to discriminate between legal and illegal traffic. I still think that if the ISP's really thought about it, they'd see the benefits to themselves that P2P data exchange provides to them as an ISP - basically, local 'caching' of popular data, with the *end-users* paying for the infrastructure to cache the data (e.g. hard drive space and a computer to serve the data from)!. It's like end-users are subsidizing the ISP. . . wait, maybe ISP's should provide discounts to users who participate in P2P *grin* (yes, I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek).

Re:Vote with your 'net dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152876)

Im not convinced that boycotting them makes much sense in this instance. Their main reason for throttling is that a heavy bandwidth user is consuming more network resources then everyone else. Network resources cost money in order to increase the capacity and to maintain them. This means that such a user is not as profitable as all the others; if you accept the claim that '5% of users are using 50% of resources' then that means that an elimination of that 5% of the users could result in 50% less overhead. Moreover it seems a fairly safe assumption that the majority of users who care about the issue (not grandma) and would dump Comcast are that same 5%. In other words income would be down 5% but maintenance and deployment could be reduced by 50%.

So the net result, depending on your assumptions about how much of their income they spend on such maintenance, is that they come out ahead. So boycotting them is unlikely to be very productive in getting them to change their practices. Something else is needed.

Re:Vote with your 'net dollars (1)

Camael (1048726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153960)

...if you accept the claim that '5% of users are using 50% of resources' then that means that an elimination of that 5% of the users could result in 50% less overhead
Which problem could easily be eliminated if Comcast had been up-front and honest about their customers' entitlements. For example, if they had sold limited download plans, once the cap had been reached they would well be within their rights to switch off the tap, so to speak for that user.

But if they sold an unlimited download plan to that user, the user is doing nothing more than exercising his contractual rights. What this boils down to is corporate greed. Comcast should not sell what it was not prepared to deliver.

The underlying "for the good of the people" argument you are making simply does not wash. Once Comcast has eliminated the the power users, what is to stop them from lowering the bar further to eliminate another 5% and so on?

As for the second part of your argument, I believe that a sustained, focused boycott would actually be effective in getting them to stop these nonsense. At the end of the day, Comcast is still being run by suits who will have to justify their fat paychecks to angry shareholders and more importantly, institutional investors if their profits nosedive.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152026)

No. These corporations do not get to decide how I use the internet. Fuck that. This is not a bill of rights. This is a corporate taking. They are taking your and my rights away. Fuck you, Comcast. Fuck you, Pando. Stay the fuck away from my internet.

I've got a great idea! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152034)

How about if people want to use lots of bandwidth, they can pay extra for a special UNLIMITED account?!

Oh... wait.

Re:I've got a great idea! (1)

atraintocry (1183485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153054)

Which, I think, is the main problem. They are lying with their marketing. If you want to drop a few hundred every month on a dedicated line, they'll happily install one for you.

But paying a tenth of that for broadband...common sense says that you're going to have a somewhat weaker link at that price. The problem is, all of the advertising says that this cheap broadband link is UNLIMITED! and LIGHTNING FAST!

They should either (a) give people fast links to the internet (b) not lie about what they can provide at a certain price or (c) both of those things. Sadly they will continue in many areas with (d) milk government-granted local monopoly as long as possible, just barely placating customers, doing everything possible to get those share prices up.

Re:I've got a great idea! (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153522)

Dont you mean... UNLIMITED* Account

*Not really Unlimited! Some restrictions apply, read through a 50 page TOS for details!

What can we get away with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152090)

So Comcast announces a blue ribbon commission on what can we get away with. This will be an exercise in turd polishing. Normal companies would just say they'll behave themselves rather than orchestrate a pantomime to pretend to convey rights.

This is a Bad Idea for Users (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152092)

This is such a bad idea for users. Like 2 wolves and a sheep getting together for a democratic vote on what's for dinner - except the sheep isn't even invited to the vote.

The chances of Comcast coming up with anything that users themselves will find the least bit palatable is next to nothing, but the fools in the media and government won't hear about that because they're too busy applauding how industry is clearly now ready to take the lead and solve the problems without government intervention.

Such a transparent attempt to kill Net Neutrality, when all we as user want is: It's our pipe. We pay for it. So let us decide how we want to utilize our paid-for bandwidth. And don't make it our problem that you have oversold your system capacity by hundreds of times!

Re:This is a Bad Idea for Users (1)

bnenning (58349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152934)

Such a transparent attempt to kill Net Neutrality, when all we as user want is: It's our pipe. We pay for it. So let us decide how we want to utilize our paid-for bandwidth. And don't make it our problem that you have oversold your system capacity by hundreds of times!

Absolutely. And if they actually do need to limit bandwidth (which shouldn't be the normal state, but say they're doing maintenance or something and have reduced capacity), then just do it on a content-neutral basis. It shouldn't matter whether I'm downloading a file over HTTP from a single site, or over Bittorrent from multiple peers.

Improper Usage?!? (1)

TheLeopardsAreComing (1206632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152138)

This is all coming from the same company that wanted to limit the amount of IP addresses that you could have inside your network. It is not legally comcast's job to participate in content control. This seems like a step toward an orwellian style of censorship.

Who Speaks for You? (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152148)

and BitTorrent acknowledged that Comcast has the right to police its own network.

Hey, I'm sorry but BitTorrent doesn't speak for me. They're not even a user and I am, so who died and made them God to decide what's right for Comcast and what's not?

Just give me MY internet back please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152256)

For a while I was actually a semi-happy Comcast customer. Sure i've had some nightmare tech support calls, but for the most part i've been fine as long as the modem is working.

Then I ordered Comcast for my new apartment last month.

Since I've gotten their service including digital telephone, anytime I use anything remotely looking like p2p data my data rates go in the toilet. Doing a quick test of pausing and un-pausing p2p traffic while downloading a large file shows this

I'm supposed to have 8mb cable. Without p2p data I see roughly 6mb, with p2p data i'm lucky to break 1.

What we need is our flat rates and honest traffic plans back. We don't need a "bill-of-frights". We don't need Comcast to try and regulate itself. We don't need all this packet monkeying. What we need is government regulation to step in and tell these people to be honest about their rates.

Just give me MY internet back please.

"Weasel words" (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152312)

Comcast admitted to delaying P2P traffic during peak times, but denied that any file-sharing applications were being completely blocked.

This sounds like the typical "non-denial denial", of the classical "weasel words" variety. For it to be true, all they need to show is that there are some file-sharing apple that are sometimes not outright killed. So, for example, if they kill all file-sharing apps after 10 seconds, and kill all BT apps outright, there would still be a few transfers of very short files that would go through, and the above statement wouldn't be a lie. But they'd still be sending RST packets to terminate most of the file transfers. No linux ISOs would ever get through, for example, despite the fact that they're totally legal.

It's called... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152422)

"The Bill of Just Enough Rights So Congress Doesn't Get Involved."

Bill of Rights?? (1)

Liath (950770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152442)

They're trying to evoke an image of the Bill of Rights in the United States, am I right? Which was ratified by the _people who use_ the _government providers'_ network of laws..

Does anyone else see this as some sort of backwards situation? SPIN 2 WIN Comcast...

P.s. why don't we have a fiber optic network yet??

Abbreviated version: (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152522)

Don't screw with your customers packets.

Problem solved.

BitTorrent Inc. ? so what. (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152550)

BitTorrent Inc. has no more right to state what users or Comcasts rights are than Comcast had the right to retroactively dictate how the bandwidth they sold to consumers should be used in the first place!
I can really see the EFF going "oh, that's fine then, BitTorrent Inc. said it's 'OK' for them to abuse their users"

Don't make me laugh (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152584)

The real Bill or Rights in the US is sheredded on a daily basis. You wouldn't even recognize it any more, and what's left requires a lawyer to explain. When the real deal is restored to its rightful place of dignity and respect, and politicians and elected leaders are subject to criminal prosecution for violations thereof, then come talk to me about a stupid (yes, it's stupid) "bill of rights". This makes me sick, really. Just like the dumb airline passenger "bill of rights" that got shot down in New York State just last week.

Please continue throttling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152624)

I for one, am happy comcast throttles p2p traffic. It's perfectly fair when you consider that 90% of comcast's bandwidth is being used by 10% of the users doing p2p, yet everyone is paying (nearly if not exactly) the same price--that's what's not fair. Comcast's throttling simply evens the playing field. You have to consider that when the networks are being saturated, SOMETHING has to give. Personally, I think that they need to lower their monthly throughput limits and charge those who are using the lion's share of the bandwidth the lion's share of the PRICE, but until then, RDP/VNC traffic is far more important than p2p traffic (it requires sub-second responsiveness), chat would be next, then HTTP, email, and p2p down at the bottom. p2p downloads frequently take hours anyway, so why should my RDP/VNC traffic get blocked by some jerk uploading/downloading the latest porn fest? Let the flaming begin!

Re:Please continue throttling... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152814)

Stop buying into their propaganda BS. They sell X bandwith to a use, that user has the right to use it any way they see fit (unless it's illegal) If a user torrenting is effecting other users THAT IS COMCASTS PROBLEM and they need to upgrade their network to ACTUALLY support the bandwidth they are selling.

Re:Please continue throttling... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152906)

It's perfectly fair when you consider that 90% of comcast's bandwidth is being used by 10% of the users doing p2p, yet everyone is paying (nearly if not exactly) the same price--that's what's not fair.

Let me rephrase that for clarity:

So you mean that 90% of the users are underutilizing a resource, and therefore the 10% that are actually using what they paid for should be penalized.

Nope. Still doesn't parse.

P2P bill of rights? Do not want. (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152640)

I don't want a P2P user's bill of rights. I want an ISP subscriber's bill of rights. Top entries:

  1. As a subscriber I have the right to use the bandwidth I pay for, and to use it in whatever manner I find appropriate so long as that activity is not against the law.
  2. As a subscriber I have the right to know what policies the ISP will impose before I subscribe, so that I can decide whether those policies are acceptable to me.

It's A Trap! (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152668)

That fake "Bill of Rights" is a scam [cnn.com] to require customers accept that ComCast service can suck whenever ComCast wants it to, and customers have to suck it up:

Now just two days before the FCC's Stanford hearing, Comcast issued yet another press release, probably aimed at dissuading the FCC from taking any action against it. Comcast and another peer-to-peer company, Pando Networks, said they created their own "Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" for file sharing, much to the amusement of some legal experts..

After speaking with Comcast, it appears that their "Bill of Rights," is really about informing the consumer that their Internet traffic could suffer delays. The cable company also says it could "de-prioritize" very heavy users of Internet bandwidth, and it will work with Pando Networks to learn how to work with peer-to-peer traffic.

Clearly, Comcast is trying to have it both ways, playing the role of the cable monolith and at the same time, trying to present a nicer face to the peer-to- peer community and consumers.

But in the prior tests conducted by the Associated Press, which uncovered Comcast's "delays," many consumers were essentially blocked from accessing certain peer-to-peer networks and sites because their connections timed out. Critics said this was anticompetitive behavior, as it blocked access to sites where consumers could have gotten movies or videos that were also being offered by Comcast.

Funny they should call it a "Bill of Rights"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23152790)

when the constitution's Bill of Rights was controversial in its day because many educated people believed that it would work more to limit people's rights than protect them.

Copowi (1)

joemawlma (897746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152918)

Comcast is making a wonderful business model for up and coming ISPs such as Copowi (http://www.copowi.com/). Keep screwing with our service and they will continue to be more and more successful as we leave comcast and flock to them. You provide internet access. nothing more. Don't shoot yourself in the foot comcast.

What is a Pando Partner? (1)

Rui del-Negro (531098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152960)

The word "and" was invented a long time ago; use it.

Bandwidth is a Commodity (1)

brady8 (956551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153192)

Comcast will have to learn the hard way that bandwidth is (or at least should be) a commodity, and therefore is not to be policed. They sell X GB/month of transfer at a speed of Y mb/s for a price N. A P2P Bill of Rights is absurd - if you want to throttle me, I'll switch providers.

The only thing that's letting them get away with this at the moment is the virtual monopoly most of these ISP's have. Which has a lot to do with them pretending to "own" the last mile, paid for by tax dollars.

It's too much to hope for that we could get some legislation to put these companies in their place...

Tag this (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153302)

Tag this 'itssatrap'. You know it is. Comcast has nothing to gain from this upfront. It's their hidden agenda that is making them do this. They do NOT want to proliferate p2p. They want to control it.

Ok, i'm SICK of this FIOS argument... (2, Interesting)

jr76 (1272780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153320)

I believe less than 5% of the US has this as an option, with most areas getting less and less options daily, with DSL prices going higher and higher.

In my area (Chicago), which is a very large metro area, you basically have Comcast or nothing else. Seven (yes Seven) years ago you could get full 1.5mbps SDSL at $80/month, but just like all of the local cable companies, most of the local Internet providers got bought out and dropped all of their customers.

Now, the same service is somewhere in the ballpark of $250/month, which is still somewhere in the range of 1/4 of the speed of what cable offers standard.

If the government actually did it's job and did not allow these buyouts / mergers!, competition would still exist and none of us would be having this argument today. Net neutrality and P2P would be a non-issue since people would just pick another option.

It's unfortunate people aren't educated enough to know that it's the politicians that are the problem, and that this will continue until we force them to change things.

Do people even remember when there was more than one option out there and how capitalism actually works then?

When you have a monopoly it is broken, plain and simple. We need to bust up Comcast, Microsoft, you name it, like Ma Bell and then things will start working again, and that will require different politicians in office.

But, this is really a pipe dream since most people just don't get economics (or care to educate themselves) and they'll keep on electing people who won't change a damn thing.

For a second there... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153414)

I thought that said "Lando."

Get out of there, Han, it's a trap!

I bet it goes something like this (2, Funny)

sr8outtalotech (1167835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153504)

Preamble The Preamble to the Bill of Rights: THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their putting up with Comcast, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the ISP, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. Articles: 1. Comcast shall be entitled to oversell bandwidth at a ratio of not less than 20 to 1. 2. Comcast shall not upgrade it's infrastructure without additional public funding. 3. Comcast shall have monopoly rights in as many markets as possible. 4. Comcast shall not be liable for anything or to anyone except it's shareholders. 5. The list goes on...

Bill of Rights? (2, Insightful)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153578)

A "set of rules" is a "Bill of Rights" now?

Comcast's 'Bill of Rights' (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23153594)

1. "You have the right to remain silent" [we will ignore all complaints anyway].

2. "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" [we will log all your packets]

3. You have the right to an attorney [if you can afford one]

And the rights basically end there. I am very suspicious when anyone wants to tell me what rights I have, when they are not a law enforcement official. This is just another way to reword the TOS [Terms of Service] agreement, and make it sound double-plus good.

-With appologies to the Miranda Convention

"reached an agreement" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23153786)

"reached an agreement"

read: someone got paid to shove off

I need help? hardly (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23153978)

> ...a set of rules that would clarify how a user can use P2P applications...

I don't need clarification. The answer is, as much as I want and in any way I see fit. And I damn sure don't need Comcast or any ISPs involved in any decisions I make as to what I see as fit.

This is a failed attempt at disguising their effort to legitimize themselves as arbiters. They only want their hand in it so they can yank out what they want. And it's a (piss poor) PR move attempting to sweep their present reputation as net.police under the rug.

If I hadn't had experience 5 years ago with Comcast that made me make the decision not to ever have anything to do with them, I'd make that decision now.
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