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AT&T, Comcast To Join RIAA Team

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-can-only-end-well dept.

Your Rights Online 360

suraj.sun writes "AT&T and Comcast, two of the nation's largest Internet service providers, are expected to be among a group of ISPs that will cooperate with the music industry in battling illegal file sharing, three sources close to the companies told CNET News. The RIAA said last month that it had enlisted the help of ISPs as part of a new antipiracy campaign. The RIAA has declined to identify which ISPs or how many. It's important to note that none of the half dozen or so ISPs involved has signed agreements. But as it stands, AT&T and Comcast are among the companies that have indicated they wish to participate in what the RIAA calls a 'graduated response program.'"

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A "graduated response"? (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640251)

I'm sure that's right out of the CIA 'Robust Interrogation' handbook. When do they get to pulling out the fingernails?

Re:A "graduated response"? (4, Insightful)

gravos (912628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640379)

As far as I can tell, this only increases their liability. Services providers have typically received immunity from the actions of their users, so long as there is a clear line between the service provider and the actions of their users. By blurring that line, it only opens them up to further liabilities. Universities learned this the hard way by giving in to the RIAA.

Re:A "graduated response"? (5, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640591)

By dealing with the RIAA at all the ISPs are making a huge mistake. Is my utility company liable if I install grow lamps and start a marijuana farm because they failed to alert the authorities about the power increase? Is my phone company liable if I start calling the state prison regularly and it turns out that I'm organizing to have an informant killed because they weren't monitoring my phone records and didn't recommend a phone tap?

By playing along even in a small role, the ISPs are really stepping in it...

Re:A "graduated response"? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640763)

By dealing with the RIAA at all the ISPs are making a huge mistake. Is my utility company liable if I install grow lamps and start a marijuana farm because they failed to alert the authorities about the power increase? Is my phone company liable if I start calling the state prison regularly and it turns out that I'm organizing to have an informant killed because they weren't monitoring my phone records and didn't recommend a phone tap?

By playing along even in a small role, the ISPs are really stepping in it...

I could be wrong, but if there is a spike in usage of water or power, utility companies will inform police of a possible grow op.

Re:A "graduated response"? (4, Informative)

scotts13 (1371443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640651)

You're probably right. I do quite a bit of consulting for K-12 schools; the watchword there is that once you attempt to filter content, you'd better filter perfectly, as you're responsible for anything that gets past. Does this translate into sanctioning your own users for inappropriate actions? I think it does.

Re:A "graduated response"? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640385)

Yes.

easy solution (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640279)

work out how much money the record companies make from sales.

setup a server with all music on it that people can add to.

charge people a fixed fee based on the record companies current sales to access the server and file share music as much as they like.

Record companies get their money.
People get as much music as they want.

Win Win.

Re:easy solution (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640293)

i forgot to add that the money should be distributed based on how many downloads their are, so independent people can make money off of the service too without having to go through a record lable.

Re:easy solution (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640393)

What would you estimate the percentage of "CDs sold out of the musician's trunks" to be compared to the RIAA stats.

Keep in mind, this is a company that still adds in a breakage fee, for digital downloads

Re:easy solution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640919)

Keep in mind, this is a company that still adds in a breakage fee, for digital downloads

It's for.... uh..... corrupt downloads.

Re:easy solution (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641015)

The server could be a tracker (like piratebay) the downloads would be via torrent. That should make it easy to track the number of downloads.

Re:easy solution (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640381)

Sorry, but music industry CEOs are strange beings incapable of racional thinking.

Re:easy solution (5, Insightful)

greywire (78262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640467)

Work out how much money the record companies think they are losing from piracy

Setup filtering on the ISP's networks to prevent file sharing.

charge people even more for their internet connections while throttling the speed.

Record companies get their money (well, so they think)
ISP's provide less service for more money.

Win win.

Unless you are a customer, in which case its a lose lose. Less access to music, less access to internet, pay more money.

This is the easy solution that will actually be implemented.

Re:easy solution (2)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640577)

First, there's the problem with measuring, "work out how much money the record companies make from sales." Whose numbers do you trust? Second, there's the issue of distribution of the money. Who gets what share of the money? Third there's the problem that once this system is put into place, there's no way of measuring how much money the record companies would have made this year if this system were not put in place. So how do you determine whether the amount should rise or fall year-to-year.

And if that weren't enough, it leaves no incentive for record companies to do anything useful ever again. They can just kick back and collect their checks.

Extremely Difficult to Implement. (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640669)

The issue comes with "current" sales being less than their "goals." (A fundamental always present problem in capitalism, particularly of companies with shareholders). If you make an RIAA blessed file sharing service and let them set the price on their goals, you've at best, produced a less-financially viable alternative (due to their poor public persona) to other all-you-can-eat music services, and at worst further intrenched their near-monopoly when it comes to price setting.

The second problem would be that the only way for them to "keep" customers paying for the service (which would be required or the cost-of-entry to meet that goal would be astronomically high on sign-up, which would detur customers) would be to use DRM, and as much as I hate DRM, the last person I want holding that digital key is a firm that believes customers ought to re-buy the content everytime technology changes (VHS->DVD->BluRay->Stream).

Thirdly, if by some miracle they didn't use DRM, nothing would stop sharing of the files between non-member users, and they'd still be in the same boat: sharing by customers who can't (because they are under 18 and can't get a credit card), won't (idealism, cheap, lazy, lack of other legal channels) or legal sharing that they'd love to see illegalized (e.g. on all my devices, PCs, including my laptop and work PC, which they insist I ought to buy over-and-over).

Re:easy solution (1)

joe_cot (1011355) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640785)

This is another proposed solution. A voluntary (for your ISP, not for you) "music tax", that is an awful idea. It was discussed here [slashdot.org] , and here's [slashdot.org] my extended list of why it's a bad idea.

Re:easy solution (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640803)

Your solution is not stupid and counter-productive. It does not facilitate ripping off artists and consumers. It does not involve lawyers and legal threats. Therefore, it will never fly with music industry executives.

Re:easy solution (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640959)

Win Win

Not exactly. What motivation do the labels have for setting up a system that puts independents on equal footing with the corporate labels? These guys dont care about or want competition.

Re:easy solution (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641025)

Oh, and another problem-- if you create the server with all the music and then allow people access, assuming there's no DRM, what's to stop someone from downloading the whole catalog of music and setting up their own free distribution service?

Your solution doesn't even address the issue of piracy.

What is with this? (-1, Offtopic)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640297)

two of the nation's largest Internet service providers

What nation would that be exactly?

- British Citizen

Re:What is with this? (4, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640339)

It seems that the RIAA part would Imply the United States.

Re:What is with this? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640719)

Of course, when I don't know something I just use google.

Re:What is with this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640369)

the one that the RIAA operates in?

what does that last A stand for on your side of the pond, teabag?

Re:What is with this? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640413)

Assholes?

Re:What is with this? (5, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640565)

Nono, that's the first A.

"Recording Industry Assholes of America."

=Smidge=

Re:What is with this? (4, Informative)

punkass (70637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640375)

http://slashdot.org/faq/editorial.shtml#ed850 [slashdot.org] Text here to thwart the filter.....

Re:What is with this? (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640641)

I'd add a +1 Informative if I hadn't made the opening post.

Cheers

Re:What is with this? (1)

punkass (70637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640711)

No worries! In the next story we're going to talk about gun rights and big cars that go real fast in straight lines...

Re:What is with this? (1)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640387)

The Nation were there is Comcast, AT&T and RIAA
-Greek Citizen

Re:What is with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640409)

You're not a "British citizen" because there's no such thing.

You're a subject of the Crown.

Consequently, I think you're a liar.

Re:What is with this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640445)

Lets see youre on an american site which lists an article about american companies and an organization called the RIAA. Guess what the last A stands for?

Of course you knew that.

Youre just another insufferable british twit. Carry on then.

Re:What is with this? (1)

AlterRNow (1215236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640521)

Sorry, I thought the ".org" domain was for organisations from around the globe, not specifically america. I stand corrected.

Re:What is with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640917)

No youre just a dumbass who cant read the faq

http://slashdot.org/faq/editorial.shtml#ed850 [slashdot.org]

Re:What is with this? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640527)

I'm Henry the Troll I am,
Henry the Troll I am, I am,
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married 7 times before,
And every one was a Henry (Henry),
She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I'm her Troll old man I Henry,
Henry the Troll I am..

Surprised? (4, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640327)

Does this really surprise anyone given that AT&T was at the forefront of the illegal wiretapping scandal?

Re:Surprised? (4, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640435)

Lets compare apples to rocks why don't we.

Re:Surprised? (5, Insightful)

iron-kurton (891451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640759)

There are two points I was trying to subtly make:

1. AT&T has shown that it is willing to sacrifice its consumers for its own agenda (and profit?) - as in the wiretapping case.

2. Given that they have snooped on users' data in the past, I am not really surprised that they are doing it again, since a) they were protected by immunity the first time, and can probably do it again should this turn out to be illegal, and b) they have the technological framework in place already.

Perhaps I should stop trying to be subtle in my posts and carry a sledgehammer... (yea, I'm new here)

Re:Surprised? (4, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640841)

Perhaps I should stop trying to be subtle in my posts and carry a sledgehammer... (yea, I'm new here)

It's not a bad idea. Subtlety doesn't go over well with some geeks (that whole denser-than-rocks thing and all). One need only look at the number of posts that simply say "wooosh" to back this up.

Re:Surprised? (3, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641093)

Lets compare apples to rocks why don't we.

Apples, rocks, it seams that AT&T is perfectly willing to throw both at it's customers...

It will not work (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640333)

The gang (Comcast, AT&T and the RIAA), have ganged up to frustrate internet users. That's sad. I hope they know full well that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. So unless all ISPs join "the gang" which is not the case, this arrangement will not work.

My personal hope is that it fails. Period.

Re:It will not work (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640469)

The only way this could work for AT&T and Comcast would be to create parallel ISPs more expensive and publicly opposed to RIAA.

Re:It will not work (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640813)

I agree. All it takes is lawsuits to start slinging out a users and they'll jump ship to other ISP's who aren't in bed with the RIAA. Since it'd be a niche market, you can guarantee some companies will not sign. Then when the users jump, their friends and family will go with them. Soon AT&T and Comcast lose droves of customers. This is an idiotic business deal unless they can market the living hell out of it and actually provide users with something they want.

Re:It will not work (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640835)

It can and probably will work. ISPs have a virtual monopoly in most areas in which they operate. Once the other few American ISPs hop on board (and they probably will) there will be no alternative... unless you consider laying your own cable and starting your own Internet an alternative. This would be a good time for the government to step in, but I don't expect that to happen.

Re:It will not work (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640941)

Until AT&T and Comcast de-settlement-free-peer any large ISP that doesn't join the gang.

Re:It will not work (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640955)

Yuo hit the nail on the head. A company like Verizon can suddenly gain market share if they announce they will NOT join with the RIAA and condemn what Comcast and AT&T are doing.

Suddenly, everyone that does not like it has a very strong reason to switch to Verizon (where they can) even if rates were higher.

but honestly, corporations today are ran by weasels. They dont care if they screw the customer, their only care is if the next bonus is large enough to buy a new vacation home.

They hate you as a customer. Completely and utterly hate you. If they did not then they would stand up for you instead of rolling over and playing dead.

Good to know. (4, Interesting)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640341)

I've been thinking of ditching Comcast for Verizon (the only two broadband options in Philadelphia) - if Verizon is not on board, then I guess that seals the deal!

Re:Good to know. (0, Troll)

uecal27 (1461989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640399)

Sorry, but Verizon has already started doing this as well.

Re:Good to know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640503)

Citation please. It's not that I don't believe you, but I want to verify it.

Re:Good to know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640701)

He created the account just to say that. Something tells me he's a Comcast shill. We probably won't hear anything more from him again.

Re:Good to know. (0, Troll)

uecal27 (1461989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640795)

Well, I received an email from Verizon after downloading an episode of a TV show. It listed the exact date and time, file name, and the method used, along with a few paragraphs saying that my internet could be cut off. Now that I think about it, this may not be the same thing as what is in the article, but they're still monitoring traffic/downloads. Plus, if they're doing this, I wouldn't put it past them to be teaming up with the RIAA as well.

Re:Good to know. (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640863)

Sorry nubbins, that's not the same thing at all, and they're not monitoring downloads. What you have is a traditional letter that ISPs forward when requested by MPAA, RIAA, whatever team of lawyers have your IP address matching to a specific date or time. Those standard letters have been handed out for at least 10 years.

Re:Good to know. (1)

uecal27 (1461989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641141)

I see...

Re:Good to know. (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641073)

Verizon passed the notice/letter on to you rather than giving your information to the RIAA/MPAA so that you could be named in a lawsuit. What happened to you is far more preferable than the other option. But if you don't want to believe that, that's up to you.

Re:Good to know. (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640427)

No idea if this still holds true, but Verizon was the company that refused to hand over their logs to the RIAA all those years ago. They certainly earned my respect at the time, and they still have my business.

What is wrong here?! (5, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640367)

Corporate america is creating a legal regime and prosecution system outside the law.

This has to be stopped.

Re:What is wrong here?! (1)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640685)

It's nothing new, America has been a corporatocracy [wikipedia.org] for some time now. They're not alone of course, but together with the UK they seem to be leading the way.

Re:What is wrong here?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640871)

Paul Blart makes fascism palatable.

Re:What is wrong here?! (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640687)

change bad laws (if you can and/or dare).

meanwhile, IGNORE all bad laws. its your moral right *and* duty.

A good counter-strategy (4, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640397)

Encrypt everyting. No more tapping, HTTP ad injections and other shit. They have no right to your internet information.

Re:A good counter-strategy (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640769)

So if they search for "Britney Spears," download an MP3 over your encrypted collection, get your IP address and subpoena you, the encryption has helped you how, exactly?

Re:A good counter-strategy (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641147)

You use a bittorrent (or whatever) client that supports automatically downloading a blocklist, like PeerGuardian [phoenixlabs.org] , and then the RIAA jackasses can't download from you. Plus, the encrypted connection keeps your isp from knowing what you're sharing.

Re:A good counter-strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26641067)

The first thing the RIAA will take down in this vein is Tor and lots of proxies. Next thing they'll do is super-deep packet sniffing, and so on and so forth... the future is bleak. The RIAA will crack encryption methods just as fast as brilliant people can make them.

Time to find another ISP (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640411)

Oh wait, they are virtual monopolies.

Id say its time for freenet, but they that that angle closed due to bandwidth caps.

Re:Time to find another ISP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640667)

Actually, if you can deal with DSL speeds and prices, mom'n'pop ISP's exist that will manage your connection (while Bellsouth or AT&T only manage the physical line). I pay a bit more, but the service is freakin incredible (the owner of my ISP once met me in a wal-mart parking lot with a replacement router on a Sunday afternoon).

I stopped downloading years ago (4, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640417)

I now have almost 200gigs of music. There's only so much I can listen. also, when I want "new" or "more" I just bring my drive over to a friend's house and bingo - a year's worth of downloads in what, 5 minutes?

LAN parties are even better - more productive and a greater selection.

RS

Re:I stopped downloading years ago (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640745)

The olny way you could have stopped downloading is if you stop using the internet. Learn your technical terms, newfag.

Its all about the bandwidth (5, Insightful)

anticlone (1245294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640429)

Comcast et al are seeking cover to squash p2p to relieve their bandwidth problems. RIAA makes a nice scape goat is things go badly.

Re:Its all about the bandwidth (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641059)

That's it. I've got AT&T DSL and I'm going to start trying to find another broadband provider. AT&T has been on my shit-list for awhile now: they were party to the illegal wiretapping at the request of Bush & Co., they stopped carrying the alt.* usenet groups and now this. I don't have a television so a cable modem is out (well, I watch TV on my computer using an HD tuner and a big monitor). Verizon fios isn't in my area. What do I do? Mooch off my neighbors? Go for a paid-for wireless internet solution, like Verizon's? I've done this before in the last place I lived and it's a pain in the neck sometimes. Cut out internet entirely? (Yeah right, why don't I cut off my right arm while I'm at it?) Find a local ISP? I live in a large (5.5 million) city, there should be something, right?

Re:Its all about the bandwidth (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641063)

Comcast is seeking to squash P2P to avoid upgrading and maintaining their bandwidth. 90% of their problems is that they have too small backbone pipes going into headends. If they would run a REAL ISP instead of the half ass job they do they would understand how to do it.

disclaimer: I used to be a Comcast manager, I know the cable-modem system inside and out. It's one reason why I will never use Comcast as an ISP.

Music piracy. Crime of the century! (5, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640443)

Wondeful, because there's no other crime that even comes close to music piracy.

Just imagine it, you get arrested and put in a cell with a dozen other people:


Cell occupant 1: "Hey pale skinny white guy, what you in here for?"
Cell occupant 2: "I bet he got caught jacking a 7-11"
Cell occupant 1: "That's what I'm in here for"
Cell occupant 3: "No shit, that's what I did last week, but I got caught today mugging someone"
Cell occupant 1: "So what is it boy?"
You: "I downloaded a Backstreet Boys album without paying for it.."

*all the other cell occupants slowly back away*

Re:Music piracy. Crime of the century! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640583)

You like jacking it in a 7-11?

You go the cell and download Backstreet Boys?

Good God man, what is wrong with you?

Re:Music piracy. Crime of the century! (1, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640717)

You: "I downloaded a Backstreet Boys album without paying for it.."

*all the other cell occupants slowly back away*

I'd back away too.

After all, it's a prison, and the one most likely to be interested in you is the backstreet boys fan.

Re:Music piracy. Crime of the century! (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640811)

...the group W room. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers! So one of 'em comes up and said "kid, what'r ya in for?"

So I said "I was arrested for litterin'".

And they all backed away from me.

So I said "and creatin' a nuisance" and thay all came up, shook my hand and we had a good old time playin with the pencils...

Oh shit now Arlo Guthrie is going to sue me for copyright infringement... and creatin' a nuisance!

AT&T and Comcast likely don't care about copyr (1, Insightful)

Mr Pippin (659094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640453)

They just want to stop all the bittorrent traffic, so they can still claim to have "unlimited" download rates. Next step is to retry the "make all content providers that AREN'T us pay us to use our bandwidth".

That includes iTunes, Zune, etc.

Obligatory conspirasy theory! (1)

KingBozo (137671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640465)

Wonderful, this looks like both AT&T and Comcast, now are starting to see that this might help them lock out competition, it would be the only reason they would partner with the RIAA. Implimentation of something that would help prevent file sharing would only cost them money and most likely customers. So the only reason I can see this happening is some way to lock out the competition.

They are all (#@^%_('ers, glad I don't have to be stuck with either one.

As a note I don't listen to music much and don't download it, but I will be pissed if they start limiting the file sharing that doesn't breaking copyright laws.

stuck with both (1)

wastedbrains (588579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640497)

Well I have comcast, and ATT since I have an iPhone. Comcast seems to be the only good choice for broadband where I am. ATT I am stuck with because the iPhone is so good that you put up with the second rate service. I would love to leave them both for how they treat their customers, but I don't have any good choices. so what can I do?

Re:stuck with both (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640605)

1) Jailbreak/unlock your iphone
2) Get new non-evil cell service provider
3) ???
4) Profit!

Not too surprising... (3, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640531)

Given that the RIAA/MPAA create music and movies, and that telecoms are bundling TV channels as well as internet services, and the people producing the content for the TV channels are pretty much all members of the RIAA/MPAA or share their interests in protecting their copyrighted works, it's hardly a surprise that ISPs are willing to cooperate. In fact, I'm surprised more ISPs aren't.

Those ISPs that are purely providing connectivity and don't also have cable/satellite TV services among their offered products may hold out against the RIAA/MPAA a bit longer, but I don't expect that it'll last. The major players will bundle with content producers, and will comply with assisting in copyright enforcement in order to secure the revenue that their TV packages provide.

There go the customers (?) (1)

SebZero (1051264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640537)

Something that isn't entirely clear to me - obviously this is a bad thing - but doesn't this mean that people just jump ship and go to other ISPs? Business usually understands people moving with their feet.

Re:There go the customers (?) (1)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640705)

Some communities/apartment complexes only have one choice for broadband access. They have the choice of one ISP or no ISP at all.

Re:There go the customers (?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640923)

This is extremely common in the US.
It is one of the reasons ISPs can get away with giving poor service and low bit rates.

Re:There go the customers (?) (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640775)

Unfortunately only the ones that get what is going on. It isn't like this is front page headlines on anywhere other than here. The last AP article was slanted to praise the RIAA for giving up its PR dog of suing individual sharers.

Re:There go the customers (?) (4, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640783)

There are no other broadband ISPs in many places, including where I live. Hell, I don't even get to choose DSL -- cable is the only option.

AT&T and Comcast know this. They don't give a shit about their customers, because they're usually the only game in town. So the only option is to abandon broadband entirely and stick with a dial-up, spend ridiculous amounts on a leased line, or spend even more ridiculous amounts on satellite Internet (which has lag times that are way too high for VoIP or online gaming). If there were another option I'd be jumping on it in an instant.

Re:There go the customers (?) (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640865)

You missed that since AT&T own the local phone lines, you pay them with dialup as well either directly or indirectly, and it is often the same case with DSL. I know my first DSL was a local provider but it was all AT&T equipment up to my modem.

Lets keep our shirts on (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640557)

It seems to me that whether or not anyone agrees with whether or not virtual piracy is right and just, the RIAA and MPAA continue to be about nine years behind current technologies.

Because there are now newsreaders and bittorrent clients for every platform that support encrypted connections over clever ports, the RIAA and MPAA will not be able to include exactly which files were shared, if any, in any court documents they submit for any case where the defendant dutifully encrypted all of their connections.

In fact, to my knowledge, not one case has ever come up where the defendant's connection to a swarm (or anything else) was encrypted.

So there it is. Really the thing to be concerned about is how much extra we're each going to be paying per month for the privilege of using the internet in order for these jackass companies to support their useless puckering for the beached, bloated whale that is the RIAA.

This should be fun... (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640599)

Since we're stuck with ConCast, I'll have to do a lot more P2P if they're going to team with the Rabid Idiot Asshole Industry. I don't share any files the copyright holders don't want shared, but The Station's The Fog will likely be confused by ConCast and the RIAA by a tune by one of their artists by the same name.

If they try to sue me, I'll have Dave sue THEM for infringing HIS copyright, and I will also sue them for slander.

This should be fun.

Guess I get to try out Time Warner for a while (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640611)

The first time my AT&T account gives me shit when I go to pirate bay, I'm going over to Time Warner. And when Time Warner gives me shit, then I will sit around all day and remember the good old days when the internet was open and free and we had a large number of different ISP's to choose from (before the dial-up's were replaced by one DSL company and one cable company).

ISP or Content (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640615)

When an ISP gets into the business of content delivery, they're devotion to being the best ISP possible goes out the window. And, unless I'm mistaken, Comcast and AT&T both have their own media delivery services (feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken) so I'm not the least bit surprised that they want to work with the RIAA in this.

I miss the days when our ISPs were internet service providers...

Re:ISP or Content (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640729)

Indeed.

Its called a conflict of interest.

It'd be as if UPS owned the roads in your area. They're going to charge tolls to the FedEx trucks. And if you're shipping too much in using another carrier, they're going to start throttling your shipments.

The simple solution is to have the government own the infrastructure and allow companies to sell services over the infrastructure. The companies who sell the services could be called Internet Service Providers or ISPs.

And monkeys might fly... (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640715)

These ISPs like to complain about the excessive bandwidth used by filesharers. I can only assume that once they start kicking these evil users off the system, my connection speeds will increase to the advertised rates, and soon they will be able to reduce my monthly bill.

Get out and make something (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640725)

Although I've been a Slashdot user for years (id in the 40K range), I'm posting anonymously because of the vitriol that I'm likely to incur with the following statement:

Quit bitching about file sharing, what the RIAA is doing, and which ISPs are cooperating.

The vast majority of shared files are pirated movies/songs made by people who got off their asses and produced something from nothing. If you're downloading these, you're nothing but a fawkin' LEECH. That's right, a leech.

You're sucking out the economic value that artists, directors, etc. have produced and replacing it with ... nothing. Like you're owed it all!

If I came and swiped your Ipod or computer filled with pirated crap, you'd be pissed. You worked for that Ipod or computer (unless mommy or daddy gave it to you) and you damn well deserve to have it, and not have it swiped by someone. Riiight??? And you wouldn't whine if a neighbor spotting me swiping your shit, called the cops, and I got caught.

And don't try to say that the majority of file swappers are writing linux drivers and sharing them. Bullshit. Most downloads are either you fawking leeches or pervs.

I've watched this bullshit for nearly 10 years on Slashdot and well, it's tiring.

Go produce something before you bitch you can't download the efforts of someone else's labor for free. Then you'll understand why the RIAA and ISPs want to protect IP rights.

Customers (3, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640789)

When will these companies realize who their customers are? It is the subscriber.

If they'll give my information to a corrupt trade organization whose strategy is suing grandmas, kids dead people and folks without computers, who else would they be willing to sell my personal information to?

They are either getting some money from the labels to do this to offset the customers who they are going to piss off, or they are counting on being a natural monopoly in certain markets. That or they've sold more broadband at cheap prices to get folks off dial up and realized that they can't turn a profit when you have folks choking down their connection. If Net Neutrality wins the day, and they can't throttle or shape the user's traffic any more, the only recourse companies will have is kicking their "excessive" users off the plan by either invoking the AUP or getting the RIAA to sue them into being a non-customer so they can let the *AA look like assholes instead of the ISP.

another day, another outrage (2, Interesting)

Yurka (468420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640885)

Oh great. Another batch of "that does it, I am ditching Comcast". Note also that they didn't even have to do anything yet, just put out a press release, and the troublemakers (sharers in this case) are busy playing the Crack Suicide Squad - which is exactly what's required from the point of view of the ISPs. Just get them off your own lawn, and report progress to RIAA. There's always enough lemmings (who don't know and don't care) to pay the bills.

Now, if the comments were running to the side of "that does it, I'm getting Comcast accounts for everyone and the dog and sharing like it's 1999", that would make more sense as a response. Otherwise, get used to the periodical pronouncements - they don't cost anything and are having at least some effect.

Re:another day, another outrage (1)

DeskLazer (699263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641125)

you do realize that a lot of people leaving comcast/at&t are doing so for moral reasons rather than because they're pirates, right?

did it ever occur to you that people like their internet to not be snooped on and throttled regardless if they're using bit torrent or netflix or whatever? what's next once they realize that BT isn't the only bandwidth hog? they then castrate that portion of bandwidth too, and you think the only people that are going to be mad are X crowd? the outrage is from people not wanting this sort of regulation and gestapo action, not just from pirates.

A marriage of convenience (4, Informative)

indytx (825419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640989)

This too shall pass. A couple of observations. First, P2P accounts for between one-third and four-fifths of internet traffic, depending on the entities collecting the data and the regions from where the data is collected. Either way, it seems like a lot. Second, internet usage continues to grow. People love YouTube, just wait until the quality improves. How many people are watching Netflix's Watch Now as a result of if being available on so many systems? Third, the economy will prevent many, if not most, ISPs from adding additional bandwidth. Thus, in order to keep up with increased legitimate demand without adding more capacity, it makes since that ISPs would want to reduce demand from file sharing. Simple, really.

Bye, Comcast! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641037)

See ya later, AT&T!

This will just drive people to other ISPs. Comcast costs way too much anyway.

Explain something to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26641095)

Wouldn't ISPs benefit more by spending the money to upgrade infrastructure to accommodate these filesharers instead of wasting it on these legal proceedings and countermeasures? I mean wouldn't the long term benefit of doing that bring in a higher return than alienating users who are going to eventually find a way around anything they try anyway?

Calling and canceling today. (2, Interesting)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641191)

That's it. I'm so sick of these companies I'm going to get ClearWire, I don't care if it's slower at least it's independent and not in bed with the Government/RIAA.

Is there a way to force a City to provide more than one telco and cable provider? It's got to be possible, how is this done, or what is the best way to go about changing this?

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