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Cablevision to Suspend Repeat Copyright Scofflaws, Comcast to Hijack Browsers

SternisheFan (2529412) writes | about a year ago

The Internet 1

SternisheFan writes "Wired reports: Comcast is to begin hijacking browsers of its internet subscribers who are detected of repeatedly infringing on public file-sharing networks while Cablevision Systems said it would suspend subscribers for 24 hours after their fifth offense.

The punishment comes as the nation’s biggest internet service providers this week began rolling out the so-called “Copyright Alert System,” which is backed by the President Barack Obama administration and was heavily pushed by the recording and movie studios.

The plan, more than four years in the making, includes participation by AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. Others could soon join.

Generally, after four offenses, the historic plan calls for these residential internet providers to initiate so-called “mitigation measures” (.pdf) that might include reducing internet speeds and redirecting a subscriber’s service to an “educational” landing page about infringement. Those measures began to take shape this week.

Comcast announced a plan that virtually deadens a subscriber’s ability to surf the web after four infringement violations — which the ISPs are calling “Copyright Alerts.”

“If a consumer fails to respond to several Copyright Alerts, Comcast will place a persistent alert in any web browser under that account until the account holder contacts Comcast’s Customer Security Assurance professionals to discuss and help resolve the matter,” Comcast said.

The Center for Copyright Information, the new group running the program on behalf of the ISPs, maintains it is not designed to terminate online accounts for repeat offenders. However, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act demands that internet service providers kick off repeat copyright scofflaws, which Cablevision said it would do for 24-hour periods unless the ISP receives a call from the subscriber.

“Your Internet access will be temporarily suspended for 24 hours unless you call in to the Cablevision number provided on the notice,” Cablevision said."

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the rest of the article (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43039529)

The rest of the wired article by David Kravets

Most important, the plan does not prevent content owners from suing internet subscribers. The Copyright Act allows damages of up to $150,000 per infringement.

Comcast, however, maintains that it won’t terminate service of repeat scofflaws.

“We will never use account termination as a mitigation measure under the CAS. We have designed the pop-up browser alerts not to interfere with any essential services obtained over the internet,” Comcast said.

Verizon has notified its customers that it might implement a “temporary reduction in the speed of your service” for repeat offenders, but made no mention of browser hijacking or suspensions.

AT&T also has a hijacking plan, forwarding repeat copyright scofflaws’ browsers to an “online portal” about copyright infringement.

The ISPs’ surveillance program monitors peer-to-peer file-sharing services via internet snoop MarkMonitor of San Francisco. Peer-to-peer monitoring is easily detectable. That’s because IP addresses of internet customers usually reveal themselves during the transfer of files.

Cyberlockers, e-mail attachments, shared Dropbox folders and other ways to infringe are not included in the crackdown, at least for now.

We’ll bring more updates to the ISP monitoring program as they merit and become available.

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