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UK ISP Disconnects Customers For File Sharing

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the one-strike-and-you're-dead dept.

The Internet 311

think_nix writes "Karoo, an ISP in Hull, in the UK, is disconnecting subscribers without warning if they file-share, or are even suspected of file-sharing. Karoo is the only ISP in the area. Copyright owners are working with the ISP helping them identify and report suspected filesharers using their services. In order to get service restored, subscribers have to go to Karoo's office and sign a form admitting guilt and promising not to do it again. The article states that some subscribers have had their access cut off for more than two years." Update: 07/24 16:29 GMT by KD : The Register is reporting that Karoo has relented and has changed its policy. A spokesman said: "It is evident that we have been exceeding the expectation of copyright owners..."

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A modest proposal (-1, Offtopic)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807623)

Folks, due to a recent string of unfortunate postings, I have found myself at the short end of the Karma stick.

If you are a moderator, you have three choices facing you. First, do nothing and affect me neither positively nor negatively. Second, you can mod me down as off-topic, which I will certainly, though reluctantly, agree is an appropriate moderation for this post. Finally you can consider my productive and lively posting history and moderate this comment up.

I'm not begging you, moderators. I know you have your own agendas. Some of you are staunch Open Source zealots and are searching for heretics to burn. Others are pedants who see no benefit in posts that are even slightly divergent from your perspective. Your agenda is your business, and since Slashdot has awarded you with moderation points, your agenda and perspective must have some merit.

What I would ask is simply that you spare a point in rescuing me from an automatic -1 posting level. It doesn't take any extra work on your part, and it will only take 4 of you to put this particular post up to +5.

Thank you for exercising your moderation rights.

Re:A modest proposal (1, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807707)

Wow, that really is a bad analogy (and long one too)!

Re:A modest proposal (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807751)

Or you could try to make a comment that is interesting, insightful, and/or informative like everyone else who wants to maintain their karma. It isn't really that hard, and that goes for everyone looking to get the karma bonus. The biggest thing is to be patient and wait until you have something interesting to contribute, rather than feeling like you need to comment at every opportunity.

Re:A modest proposal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807999)

Dude, that's BadAnalogyGuy. Haven't you /seen/ his posts around before? You must be new here. ;P

Re:A modest proposal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808035)

So only approved postings should continue here? We should avoid "nonstandard posting" so that we don't get our "posting privileges" revoked?

Perhaps the brilliance of the analogy flew over your head like a rock.

Re:A modest proposal (2, Insightful)

mouseblue (1602125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808297)

The problem is he often makes early/first posts with slanted views that do not accurately reflect the information presented. Some of them are convincing and he gets upvoted but it spreads misinformation.

Earlier today he posted this: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1313945&cid=28806481 [slashdot.org]

The flaw lies in the implementation of the HTTPD used for router's Admin Web GUI. Which is a custom rewrite by Brainslayer & the DD-WRT team.
A brief history of DD-WRT (warning: it's biased against the project): http://www.bitsum.com/about-ddwrt.htm [bitsum.com]

He complains of "the dangers of homogeny" when the software bug was from a hobbyist-type build of a custom firmware.

Then he closes with the following statement: "Just because we love Linux doesn't mean that we should sacrifice the entire ecosystem to that love. We need to nurture other implementations to prevent this type of virus from wiping out our entire networking infrastructure."

While melodramatic, he's misrepresenting the actual number of DD-WRT users. The subset of router enthusiasts with DD-WRT is smaller compared to those who use other 3rd party firmwares (OpenWRT, Tomato, etc available on Broadcom or Atheros chipsets) and those who never bother to reflash their routers at all or have routers that are unsupported by DD-WRT.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807875)

Mod parent down. It is more annoying to see this as the first comment on this story than it would be to see the usual FIST PROST / FROST PISS / FIRST PSOT garbage.

Re:A modest proposal (0, Offtopic)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808389)

You just begged for even lower karma. You know your post is offtopic, but you posted it anyway. I see you have no journals; the journals are there for exactly this kind of post. Or anything at all you want to write.

You can even write about dope or hookers or mod points. The last journal I posted was about the first moon landing. [slashdot.org]

Some other comments to your comment give a step-by-step to getting your karma back.

Re:A modest proposal (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808447)

This must be a way of making people respond to your comment, resulting in offtopic mods for them too which will make others be in the same bucket as you. It reminds me of a quote "If only people would desire happiness for themselves more than sadness for others, the world would be a better place".

Disclaimer: I currently have no mod points and as you can see my karma is pretty good, so yeah, burn it down...

Re:A modest proposal (0, Flamebait)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808465)

Repeat after me: Funny mods do not add to your karma.

Your problem is you go for the joke exclusively. I like to go for the joke quite a bit myself, but you have to sprinkle in some actually worthwhile (or at least karma whoring) posts more often, or your starting score will render you invisible to the vast majority of Slashdot readers. Building up karma on this site is easy. You already know that the majority of mod points are spent early in threads, so if you're looking to rebuild your karma, post something on-topic early in the thread that you know will be modded up. For extra points, start your post with "I know I'll be modded down for this" and then post something that's clearly in line with the prevailing Slashdot groupthink.

Example for this thread:

I know I'll be modded down for this, but it seems to me these ISPs need to stop bowing down to the **AA and start doing what's best for their customers. Why should I be cut off because I want to use bittorrent to download the latest Ubuntu release? This is why we need to support Net Neutrality!

Had you made that the first post instead of what you posted, you would have been guaranteed a +5, Insightful and would be well on your way to re-earning that karma bonus.

Join us next week when we'll discuss how to craft a proper car analogy on Slashdot in order to hit the coveted trifecta of vaguely on-topic, completely nonsensical, and +5 moderated.

so? (-1, Redundant)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807643)

just move it to another ISP, once they have no business left they would wisen up

Did You Fail Reading Comprehension 101?? (1)

CyberSlammer (1459173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807677)

"Karoo is the only ISP in the area"....I can diagram the sentence too if you want me to.

Re:so? (0, Redundant)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807685)

You must have missed the "Karoo is the only ISP in the area" part.

Re:so? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807741)

You must have missed the "Karoo is the only ISP in the area" part.

That's the part that really stinks. I'd say there's a nice opportunity for a competing ISP here.

Re:so? (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807895)

Strange, at the very least you'd expect BT (the company that some government failed to de-nationalise properly) to have some operations in the area. Anyone know a reason why Karoo is the only option there?

Re:so? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808045)

A quirk of history. BT isn't the provider of phone infrastructure in Hull - Kingston Communications is. It started out as a municipally run network, which wasn't unusual in the early 1900's, but all the other municipal networks in the UK were eventually subsumed into the Post Office, from which BT was created.

Re:so? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808231)

It is because since 1902, Kingston-upon-Hull has had its own local monopoly. It's one of those weird local wrinkles like Berwick-on-Tweed still being at war with Germany. Hull's telecoms firm has traditionally been surprisingly good but evidently they are now scared of being sued out of existence.

Re:so? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808055)

"just move it to another ISP"

-1, overrated.

But if I owned a ISP in a neighboring community I know where my next expansion would be.

Re:so? (1)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807687)

From the summary:

Karoo is the only ISP in the area

And I presume the 3G coverage map hit /. the other week, so that's a bit of a no-no for a Hull resident, too.

Re:so? (1, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807691)

The UK isn't like the U.S.

From TFS: Karoo is the only ISP in the area.

It isn't simply a matter of moving from one ISP to another. The UK is very big, so local monopolies are very common. These victims have no recourse.

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807797)

Actually it sounds like the UK is very much like the US. The US is much larger then the UK and in areas where there aren't a lot of people, there are also local monopolies.

Re:so? (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807831)

In the U.S., you typically have both the cable company and the phone company vying for Internet business.

You'd have to go pretty far out to find an area that only had dial-up, much less only one dial-up ISP in the area.

Re:so? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808043)

In the U.S., you typically have both the cable company and the phone company vying for Internet business.

WTF are you basing this on? DSL only ranges about 15,000 to 18,000 feet from the DSLAM. There are huge swaths of land that don't receive DSL service, even in fairly suburban areas. The telco can install remote DSLAMs if they want to but many don't make the effort because there aren't enough potential customers in the area to justify the expense.

There are many areas where the cableco is your only choice. Worse, the cableco knows this. In my area you can usually get Time Warner to lower your rate if you threaten to move to DSL -- but if you live in an area where DSL isn't an option they refuse any sort of rate deal because they know they have you by the balls.

You are also discounting the remote areas that have DSL service but are stuck with slow service because of the distance and/or provider policy. I can get DSL where I live -- at a whooping 1.5mbit/s for the same price that Time Warner can deliver 8.0mbit/s. 1.5 isn't really enough to watch decent quality video. So I'm stuck with Time Warner even though DSL is an option.

Re:so? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808165)

Typically, maybe, but this situation isn't typical either. In my area of the US, there is a town of 20,000 with Cable and no DSL. In another nearby town of 671 people, where great DSL is available. The bigger town has a national phone company as its carrier.

Re:so? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808351)

Um no I can point you at many MANY Suburban and Urban areas that have only 1 high speed internet provider.

Some places the telco is the only choice, others the telco ignored their 60 year old infrastructure and only choice is the single cable company.

High speed internet service is a Huge monopoly in many areas.

Re:so? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807893)

The UK isn't like the U.S..... The UK is very big, so local monopolies are very common.

Yeah I know. The U.S. is so small. ;-)

Re:so? (2, Insightful)

nicolastheadept (930317) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807899)

"The UK is very big, so local monopolies are very common" - entirely wrong, the UK is rather small and local monopolies are rare. In fact this is the first one in the UK I've heard about.

Check your English history! (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807927)

The practice of creating polyopolies (local monopolies) started in the UK about the time people figured out how to build power looms.

There should be a similarly rich history of how the English dealt with the problem.

--dave (he who knows not history is doomed to repeat it) c-b

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807953)

The UK is the size of one US state. It's minuscule.

The whole area is tiny with lots of people crammed in. That's why trains work so well in Europe, lots of points of interests within a small area.

Re:so? (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807981)

AFAIK it's pretty much a Hull only thing, back when the various phone systems in the UK vere taken over by the General Post Office (who's phone division became BT), Hull's system was the only one to stay seperate, originally run by the local council, and now by Kingston Communications (who own Karoo). I don't think any other area in the UK has the same situation, and with BT exchanges you usually have a fair number of broadband ISP choices.

Re:so? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808095)

Actually this is likely the ONLY area in the UK where this is the case. All other parts of the UK are served by BT, who are under obligation to provide equal access to their lines for competing broadband providers.

Re:so? (2, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808405)

All other parts of the UK are served by BT

I hope BitTorrent becomes an ISP in my area too!

Re:so? (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808189)

The UK was so big in 1910, that the sun never set in the empire. In the last years, the UK politics seem so dim that many people ask themselves if the sun now even glimpses on the remaining isles.

I for one mark all these stories with a "crazykingdom" tag. Not because of the Brits, but because of their politics and their leaders. They hit rock bottom a decade ago but kept on digging. Really, a megalomaniac ISP disconnecting suspected filesharers at the first hint of trouble, is among the least of Britains problems. It's just a symptom of the entire ruling caste, with iron hand to the Britons on one side, with ever forgiving grace to all other sides.

I'm not a Brit, but I feel so sorry for you but I'm thankful that you will serve as a warning example to the rest of The "Free" West, where everyone is free to pay taxes or milk social security, but shut the hell up on any other issues.

Re:so? (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808469)

Acutally local telecoms monopolies are very, very rare. Unique to Hull, in fact.

Re:so? (1)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807697)

There is no other ISP.

Re:so? (1)

dannyof47 (1110775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807713)

just move it to another ISP, once they have no business left they would wisen up

(From the article)

'Karoo, the only ISP in the area ....'

Unfortunately the only other choice for these people is mobile broadband.

Re:so? (1)

Holi (250190) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807715)

Nice reading comprehension.
> Karoo is the only ISP in the area.
How do they switch when there is only one choice.

From the Fine Summary... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807725)

Karoo, an ISP in Hull, in the UK, is disconnecting subscribers without warning if they file-share, or are even suspected of file-sharing. Karoo is the only ISP in the area.

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807799)

Allow me to recap the 8+ posts that have, in the past five minutes, replied to your awesome statement:

Did You Fail Reading Comprehension 101?? (Score:-1)
by CyberSlammer (1459173) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:31 (#28807677)
"Karoo is the only ISP in the area"....I can diagram the sentence too if you want me to.

Re:so? (Score:1)
by Yvan256 (722131) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:31 (#28807685) Homepage Journal

You must have missed the "Karoo is the only ISP in the area" part.

Re:so? (Score:1)
by lordandmaker (960504) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:31 (#28807687) Homepage
From the summary:

Karoo is the only ISP in the area

And I presume the 3G coverage map hit /. the other week, so that's a bit of a no-no for a Hull resident, too.

Re:so? (Score:1)
by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) Friend of a Friend <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on 2009.07.24 11:31 (#28807691)

The UK isn't like the U.S.

From TFS: Karoo is the only ISP in the area.

It isn't simply a matter of moving from one ISP to another. The UK is very big, so local monopolies are very common. These victims have no recourse.

Re:so? (Score:1)
by montyzooooma (853414) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:32 (#28807697)
There is no other ISP.
--
Oink The Pig [blogspot.com]

Re:so? (Score:1)
by dannyof47 (1110775) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:32 (#28807713)

just move it to another ISP, once they have no business left they would wisen up

(From the article)

'Karoo, the only ISP in the area ....'

Unfortunately the only other choice for these people is mobile broadband.

Re:so? (Score:1)
by Holi (250190) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:33 (#28807715)

Nice reading comprehension.
> Karoo is the only ISP in the area.
How do they switch when there is only one choice.
--
You might as well blame me, everyone else does.

From the Fine Summary... (Score:1)
by denzacar (181829) Alter Relationship on 2009.07.24 11:33 (#28807725)

Karoo, an ISP in Hull, in the UK, is disconnecting subscribers without warning if they file-share, or are even suspected of file-sharing. Karoo is the only ISP in the area.

I'm not 100% on this yet. But I am led to believe that Karoo is the only ISP in the area. Did anyone else pick up on that?

Re:so? (1)

StellarFury (1058280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807891)

Shit, son, Slashdot is really getting its pwn on today. It's not even noon!

So they disconnect anyone who uses a browser? (4, Informative)

Red4man (1347635) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807647)

I guess they don't know about file caching...

Telecoms monopoly (3, Informative)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807667)

Don't do the CRIME if you can't wait the TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808025)

DON'T DO IT !!

Swear... SWEAR !!

Here's a plan (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807669)

Get the IP address of the Karoo president, and denounce him to the Karoo tech as the originator of suspicious copyrighted file sharing. Hilarity ensues.

Re:Here's a plan (4, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808071)

Alternately, park outside his house and/or outside the Karoo offices, hack into a wireless router, and download as much music as you can.

I particularly like the idea of some Karoo tech setting some options to block a reported IP, and then asking, "Hey, did our network go down?"

A right not a privilege (4, Insightful)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807675)

I can't understand that, if theirs only one ISP it should be a requirement to maintain at least basic service. Considering how much government business is moving online, this is now a requirement to function.

Re:A right not a privilege (5, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807909)

Since government business is moving online, then the government should be the one required to ensure people have access to it. Most libraries these days has free internet access, so that issue is resolved.

The problem when requiring independent businesses to supply a basic service in any eventuallity has caused issues. Two examples of this is that the water services in the UK cannot cut you off for non-payment of your bills - the downside to this is that a lot of people know that, and simply refuse to pay anyway.

The second example is that the government recently stopped paying Local Housing Allowance to private landlords (where the person entitled to the housing allowance was in private rented accomodation rather than social housing) and started paying it to the entitled person instead.

This was done in an effort to increase the individuals ability to manage their own finances. What it actually accomplished was the situation where many landlords were not getting paid, because the person receiving the allowance was instead spending the money on alcohol, tobacco and luxury goods.

THe problem is, its a long process to evict a tenant that isn't paying, and a longer one to evict a tenant that is already receiving housing benefit. So private landlords are paying the price for the government policy change.

So now, the council register of private landlords willing to house Local Housing Allowance recipients has shrunk by as much as 90% in two years.

The phone companies can cut off your telephone line, theres no reason why your internet connection is any more special.

Re:A right not a privilege (2, Insightful)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807939)

Not even close to a 'right', how do you figure it is? Even with government having a stronger presence online, there are still offices people can walk into, real people to interact with - it's just not as instant as online and someone, *gasp*, may have to wait in line. Seriously, having access to the internet is not a right in any way, shape, or form. As much as we nerds/geeks may like to think otherwise, you don't die if you can't access the world wide web.

Re:A right not a privilege (2, Interesting)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808263)

No, but it does place a person at a disadvantage. In many ways you could make the same arguments about electricity or even running water - since those services are available in some shape or form by waiting in line. And for someone with disabilities, internet access can be as important as physical aids.
It may not be considered an essential service now, but it damn well ought to be.

Re:A right not a privilege (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808287)

Spoken by someone who likely hasn't been without internet for any long period of time.

Re:A right not a privilege (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808243)

Getting from point A to point B is far more basic than browsing the web. My day-to-day life is impacted because I can't drive. Nobody's basic day-to-day life is harmed for want of internet service; hell, many people choose not to have it.

So is driving a right rather than a privilege? I should be allowed to drive even though I can't pass the vision test? Someone who has used a vehicle to assult someone, or who repeatedly risks others' lives by driving while severly impaired by alcohol, should still get to drive?

Come to think of it, if it's a right, then a car and fuel should be provided, or at least heavily subsidized. And since I really can't safely drive, the government will have to assign me a driver.

No? I didn't think so. Then I can't imagine why you would think internet access would be a right.

Re:A right not a privilege (2)

berzerke (319205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808381)

There is a big difference here. If you lose your license, it's because a court took it away. The government has to prove you are no longer worthy of that right and you have the chance to defend yourself. With Hull, no proof is required, only an accusation, and you don't get to defend yourself.

WoW (1)

diemuzi (940206) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807711)

Hope they don't patch World of Warcraft on Tuesdays... Oh Noes, file sharing...

CableOne does this here in Idaho! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807763)

CableOne has disconnected me twice on two different connections. Apparently they get told from companies like NBC that I downloaded something illegal. They say that we are protected by them shutting off my internet. Has this happened to anyone else?!

Legal CYA (4, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807793)

What struck me about this whole thing is the alleged file-sharer has to sign a document admitting guilt and then the promise that they wouldn't do it again.

Seems awfully heavy handed to me, not to mention legally tricky for those who are accused. What's to say that by signing that document, they won't open themselves up to legal motions by the multinational entertainment companies.

Re:Legal CYA (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807929)

Cross-out the offending portions and write, "admits no guilt" above them. Then sign.

If they still refuse to restore service, hire a team of lawyers and sue them under antitrust/antimonopoly legislation.

Re:Legal CYA (3, Funny)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808027)

Yeah, because everyone in Hull craps money.

Re:Legal CYA (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808061)

"...hire a team of lawyers"

[looks at wallet, then dials phone] - "Hello, Lionel Hutz?"

Re:Legal CYA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808423)

Hutz: All right, gentlemen, I'll take your case. But I'm going to have to ask for a thousand-dollar retainer.
Bart: A thousand dollars? But your ad says "No money down".
[shows his paper ad: "Works on contingency basis. No money down."]
Hutz: Oh! They got this all screwed up...
[makes a few corrections: "Works on contingency basis? No, money down!"]
Bart: So you _don't_ work on a contingency basis?
Hutz: No, money down! Oops, it shouldn't have this Bar Association logo here either.

Re:Legal CYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808133)

More idiotic advise on slashdot. Being the only provider of a service does not mean you are forced to do business with anyone. If they don't want to do business with you, they don't have to, any more than you are forced to do business with them.

Re:Legal CYA (1)

StellarFury (1058280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807971)

"Heavy-handed"?

What about "Fucking Wrong"?

Doesn't the United Kingdom have a Bill of Rights-type document? Something? Anything? Some sort of basic statement of rights on which their citizens can contest such bullshit as being coerced to admit guilt to a crime they may or may not have committed? I mean, to me, this situation is why we (the United States) have the Fifth Amendment in the first place. Nowadays, it's the "most-shat-on" amendment in the courts, where people use it as the "I'm guilty but I'm not going to tell you" defense, but it's really there to prevent psychotic police-state shit like this from happening.

Not only that, it isn't even the government doing it - it's a corporation!

Can someone please strike Karoo from the face of the planet? Here's looking at you, God.

Re:Legal CYA (2, Insightful)

Feef Lovecraft (1231264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808215)

"Doesn't the United Kingdom have a Bill of Rights-type document?" Nope, nothing like that at all. It's quite likely however the people that have been disconnected were doing something wrong, we aren't talking about the old granny who doesn't have the internet being served by the RIAA here this will be people that will have been using torents (possibly legally more likely however not) and have broken the service agreement with Karoo. Thus they were disconnected.

Re:Legal CYA (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808227)

Yes [bbc.co.uk] although I don't know whether it applies to corporations or not.

Re:Legal CYA (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808105)

This is akin to the cops saying "We know you did it. Just tell us what happened and we'll try to work out some kind of deal". They are trying to scare the actual guilty into giving themselves up at the expense of harassing people who did no wrong. Unfortunately, it is your job as the accused to tell them to shove it up their ass.

I don't understand (4, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807823)

I don't understand why ISPs want to be in the business of policing their users: it costs money to do that. It also costs them lost revenue for cutting off users. Why don't the ISPs just say "It's not our problem" to the copyright holders presumably just as the Postal Service would say if people were sending copyrighted documents, CDs, or DVDs through the mail.

Re:I don't understand (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807887)

Because the ISP's want to be in the business of being copyright holders. ISP's are trying to apply the cable TV business model to the Internet. I hope they fail. I think they will, but am concerned about some things I have been seeing that seem to indicate that they are having some success.

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808185)

[T]he ISP's want to be in the business of being copyright holders.

Copyrights to what? They don't produce music or movies. How can they hold a copyright if they don't produce anything?

Re:I don't understand (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807903)

I don't understand why ISPs want to be in the business of policing their users: it costs money to do that. It also costs them lost revenue for cutting off users.

You're assuming it costs more money to police them than it does to kick off the heavier bandwidth users and then have a larger profit margin. 90% of the users pay for the 10% who use bandwidth heavily. Get rid of the 10% and profits soar. Ah, but you assume internet access is a regulated public utility and so they have to be fair and impartial? Te-he. Silly techie, trix are for kids!

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808229)

90% of the users pay for the 10% who use bandwidth heavily.

So either state in the contract that there is a bandwidth cap (and enforce it) or charge more for more bandwidth. Their policy should be bandwidth-based and not content-based. That also happens to be a lot simpler to enforce.

Re:I don't understand (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808237)

That might be, but half of those 10% are the ones recommending the company to the other 90.

Re:I don't understand (1)

StellarFury (1058280) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808005)

+5 Functional Analogy

Re:I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808007)

Copyright infringment - Such a big thing these days since the communication superhighway went global.

What i don't get is if you create music, it's because you have artistic flare and love what you do. Now, it's purely to put money in a management agency.

Yeah, thwe artist might lose out a bit, but phawwww! the management lose a tonne. In my books, ill do anything i can to support the artist, and do everything i can to get the agent to lose out. Problem is they're now so ingrained with each other these days.

shame

Re:I don't understand (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808235)

sending copyrighted documents, CDs, or DVDs through the mail.

You're going to get in trouble when this becomes the biggest form of file-sharing. And with the way ISPs are handling their business, it might even happen.

Karoo is NOT the only ISP in the area. (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807837)

The summary is incorrect. They still have the option to use dialup from some other company, or satellite.

I never thought I'd say this, but... (1, Interesting)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807849)

"or are even suspected of file-sharing."

That's a blatant infringement on one's human rights, which states that everyone is entitled to a fair trial.

The ISP could get into a lot of shit over that alone.

Re:I never thought I'd say this, but... (2, Insightful)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808013)

"That's a blatant infringement on one's human rights, which states that everyone is entitled to a fair trial." -- You sure about that? A 'fair' trial isn't a basic human right, it isn't necessary for life, it's a great concept that's put into practice. I think you're projecting the idealistic notions from "Western Civilization" (the USA and Europe) onto what you *think* should be a global truth.

Re:I never thought I'd say this, but... (2, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808031)

Fair trial clauses are usually in criminal cases only. This is a business relationship, where businesses usually reserve the right to cancel service at any time.

Re:I never thought I'd say this, but... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808053)

Since when does the 'fair trial' clause extend to the private sector? I can form an opinion of you without ever granting you a 'fair trial'.

Re:I never thought I'd say this, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808079)

Folks, the legal framework is business as usual. What's unusual about this case is that it is actually used to disconnect customers, because the ISP is a monopoly and can get away with it. All web hosting companies and most ISPs have similar clauses in their terms of service and could cut you off if they think you violated the ToS. It is the customer's option to drag the ISP to court over an unlawful contract termination, or, if the customer withholds payments, the ISP can sue for payment. In both cases the ISP has to prove that the customer has violated the contract. If the ISP can't prove a violation, then the customer can sue for damages resulting from the unlawful termination.

Re:I never thought I'd say this, but... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808261)

As much as some people wish it so, "a fair trial" or is not applicable to "ending a business relationship". You might try for "tortious interference of contract" by the MAFIAA which is part of common law and should apply in the UK, but that's about it. The circumstances where you can demand anyone continue to offer you service are slim indeed.

i hate the mafiaa (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808453)

i think copyright is a dead concept

but in a world where genocides and starvation and slavery still occur, to speak about "human rights" about internet access is overly pompous

don't ratchet your language up on concerns of, frankly, nonimportant issues to the basics of human dignity

i mean we could also call what karoo is doing "terrorism"

but its the same overuse of terminology meant for far more dire situations than anything remotely touching this case

Did they mean "Illegal" file sharing? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28807865)

At first I thought they would disconnect me for sharing ubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso . Then when the summary mentioned copyright owners, I wasn't so sure. Then the summary mentioned "admitting guilt", what guilt?

Silly Karoo (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807867)

Apparently "kangaroo court" is now "karoo court"...

Is this legal? (2, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28807923)

Can anybody in the UK shed some light on whether this practise is even legal? How can an ISP act as a judge, jury and executioner especially given that they have spotty evidence at best?

Re:Is this legal? (2, Informative)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808063)

Because they're not throwing you in jail -- all they're doing is cutting off your service, which I'm pretty sure they're allowed to do even in the UK.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808211)

Because they're not throwing you in jail -- all they're doing is cutting off your service, which I'm pretty sure they're allowed to do even in the UK.

They have to justify it. AFAIK, it's illegal to refuse to do business with somebody just because you don't like them. You have to have justification, such as violating the terms of service. If a person falsely accused of filesharing is cut off from internet access, then that person didn't really violate the terms of service.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808485)

AFAIK, it's NOT illegal to refuse to do business with someone, as long as it's not based upon race or gender or religious affiliation. I imagine the UK has similiar laws -- they might have additional laws on sexual orientation; don't have those in the US.

Bad summary (4, Informative)

ServerIrv (840609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808033)

From the Summary:
"The article states that some subscribers have had their access cut off for more than two years." WRONG.

From the Article:
"The terms and conditions Karoo enforce are not new - the BBC has spoken to customers whose accounts were suspended over two years ago." In actuality, this only means that the enforcement of this policy has been in use for over two years, not that actual customers have been without internet access for that time duration.

Re:Bad summary (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808303)

They can only get reconnected to Karoo after signing that statement, so their access to Karoo has been cut off for more than two years. Luckily, ISPs don't share their blacklists (yet?)

Guilty until proven... (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808087)

well, guilty actually, since there doesn't seem to be any provision for proving your innocence. So, guilty until admitted guilty.

Situation has already changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808173)

http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10013286o-2000331761b,00.htm
so move along, there is nothing to see.

I am an ISP and I support this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28808199)

Folks,

IP2P is used exclusively to STEAL, and then you want to whine and complain when the big bad riaa/mpaa fingers you. Haha, I've got no sympathy for you.

From my side, there are two factors at play. First, I get a notice via email that then requires _manual processing_. This means that the cost of providing you service, just suddenly went up because now a _person_ has to get involved in your internet service and do something in order to comply with the law. Why do YOUR illegal activities have to cost ME money? Where do you get off thinking you can just go do as you please without there being consequences? We are not going to protect you, and you better get used to the idea that you WILL NOT engage in this behavior without there being risk to you.

Secondly, file sharers use a disproportionate share of bandwidth as compared to legal and legit users, and cutting their asses off has a positive benifical effect on the network. I consider p2p users to be undesireable customers anyways, and so when they get caught and reported to me, I use that opportunity to engage in some education about the teeth in my terms of service. Yes, cutting people off has quite an immediate and therapeutic effect on their behavior, they will behave as we proscribe in the ToS which means not using the service to break the law, and if it happens that they don't like that policy they still get to pay their early termination fee and if there is no other choice where they live, well thats just too damm bad.

We should note that we don't get involved until an authority has filed a notice with us. No notice we have received ever complained that the ip address in question _downloaded_ anything, only that it was making available a copy of the material for _upload_ to others. Without exception, all of these p2p programs default to sharing your download folder back out, so whatever you steal, you then begin passing around to others. If they did anything else (like not defaulting to being a seeder/uploader) then these file sharing networks wouldn't work and there woulnd't be a problem of any notable size.

So lets get it right. The problem is not the big bad isp cutting off it's sweet innocent customers for arbitrary or unreasonable reasons - it is that the wonton theft and trade of copyrighted material has reached such epidemic proportions that it's beginning to cost the ISP's money, and the escelating war between the copyright holders and the thieves (who could very well be grandma who can't find the keyboard anyways) demands a business resolution in order to stem the tide of lost revenue/extra costs associated with the behavior.

Re:I am an ISP and I support this (1, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808317)

For the millionth time, file sharing is not stealing. Shouting the same lie from your noise hole over and over again will never make it true.

Content creators are not owed a living. The quality of the vast majority of content is low, and the price is too high. However, content creators have got it into their heads they deserve massive remuneration for very little, low quality, work. They are trying to have the government use force to squeeze money out of consumers, in a manner little different from racketeering.

They will lose, if only because the two sides of this debate are divided by age, with the young respecting the freedom of information flow, and the old desperate to hang onto the economic privileges they lose.

Re:I am an ISP and I support this (2, Interesting)

lordandmaker (960504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808339)

From my side, there are two factors at play. First, I get a notice via email that then requires _manual processing_. This means that the cost of providing you service, just suddenly went up because now a _person_ has to get involved in your internet service and do something in order to comply with the law.

Is the ISP legally obliged to ensure its users don't do illegal things? If so, I'd have expected more ISPs to run similar operations.

Why do YOUR illegal activities have to cost ME money? Where do you get off thinking you can just go do as you please without there being consequences? We are not going to protect you, and you better get used to the idea that you WILL NOT engage in this behavior without there being risk to you.

On the contrary, surely it is entirely acceptable that those people making legitimate use of your network costs you some of the money you charge them for that use? (that cost being that which you spend on determining whether this suspected thief is actually thieving)

Secondly, file sharers use a disproportionate share of bandwidth as compared to legal and legit users, and cutting their asses off has a positive benifical effect on the network.

This is fine. And I wish ISPs would just say that they're overselling their resources rather than pretending that anyone who wants access to the services they thought they signed up to is stealing music.

I consider p2p users to be undesireable customers anyways, and so when they get caught and reported to me, I use that opportunity to engage in some education about the teeth in my terms of service. Yes, cutting people off has quite an immediate and therapeutic effect on their behavior, they will behave as we proscribe in the ToS which means not using the service to break the law, and if it happens that they don't like that policy they still get to pay their early termination fee and if there is no other choice where they live, well thats just too damm bad.

One point of contention in the article is that these people are getting cut off on nothing more than an assumption that they must be pirating stuff since they're using P2P. This is like arresting people leaving hardware shops with crowbars on the grounds that they're going to burgle houses.

Actually... they don't! (1)

Sacro (1138603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808203)

At least according to our local newspaper [thisishull...ding.co.uk]

Sounds like they are hard up for cash. (0, Troll)

kaptink (699820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808213)

It's not like internet access is expensive or hard to get in Hull. Internet is peanuts in and around London. Why persecuted users wouldn't move on to a friendlier ISP without this harsh tone I don't know. This ISP looks like they are hard up for cash and can't pay for bandwidth and/or to stupid to install some traffic management, or run by some blind do-gooders. Either way, they'll loose. Plenty more ISP's to sign up with who don't harass their customers like that. If it were me, I'd tell Karoo to kram it sideways.

Or... (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808249)

subscribers have to go to Karoo's office and sign a form admitting guilt and promising not to do it again.

How about going to their office en masse and burning it down?

Horrible (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808251)

I live pretty near hull, and am always horrified by the fact they can only access the internet via one ISP (who throttle badly, port block, along with this). It is enough (well, along with Hull being a horrible place) to stop me ever even thinking of living there.

No news here (2, Interesting)

Carra (1220410) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808343)

My ISP clearly states in their policy that one should not use their line for illegal activities. And under their punishments is a disconnection. I've had a disconnection for a few days five years ago (for file sharing). If I were to repeat it again and I'm facing a week and then a full disconnection. Immediately disconnecting the line on the first crime seems like bad business to me. It's one customer who won't be paying his monthly bill!

Media attention forces U-Turn (0)

Martin Spamer (244245) | more than 5 years ago | (#28808371)

Kingston Communications is to drop its hardline approach of immediately cutting the Internet connection of people caught illegally downloading films and music. [thisishull...ding.co.uk]

As Hull resident and Karoo broadband customer, I can tell you things are never as simple as they appear. The people who get cut off are those that are saturating their bandwidth, and have ignored multiple warnings, first by email and then by letter. I know lots of people file sharing on a limited basis that have never been cut off. Though a few saturating their bandwidth have received warning email and letters.

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