dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
21493
share rss forum feed


ALsuspended

@mycingular.net

Suspended service, should I sign the letter?

I recently had my account suspended by Mediacom after receiving a second notice for copyright infringement. They want me to sign a letter and send it back to them in order to get my service turned back on. Has anyone ever signed this letter and sent it back? If so, is this something that could be used against you later in a court case? Should I just cancel my account and switch ISPs? What should I do?


TheRogueX

join:2003-03-26
Springfield, MO
Reviews:
·Mediacom

Are you guilty of copyright infringement? Have you been downloading stuff and getting caught? I mean, this is a pretty dumb question you're asking.

If you're not guilty of it, call them an discuss it with them. Explain your situation, figure out what's happened, and clear up the matter. If you're guilty, I don't know what to tell you.
--
»/im/82288374/5591.png


Zoomer30

join:2003-05-01
Mason City, IA
reply to ALsuspended

I can imagine they keep track of those "torrent" sites and if they see a lot of activity like that they could ding you. Its like buying beer for someone who is under 21: The person supplying the service (MC) can get in as much trouble as the person consuming the service (you) if they do something bad.


RouterReload

join:2008-09-02
reply to ALsuspended

If you haven't been downloading, I'd call them and ask them to check again. Does the letter say you're guilty or there's a fine or anything? Either way, I'd get more information from them. Do you have a copy of the letter you can post, or have what it says?

And as always, big brother is always watching your internet traffic



ALsuspended

@mycingular.net
reply to ALsuspended

The letter they want you to sign states:

I acknowledge receipt of a notice from Mediacom CC that it received a notice alleging that I have engaged in copyright infringement. I understand that copyright infringement is against the law and is a prohibited activity under Mediacom's rules of use of its high-speed Internet sevice, and that repeated activities will result in permanent discontinuance of access to the service. I further acknowledge that I have received a notification of my right to make a counter statement, and in lieu of making such a statement I have signed the acknowlegement. My signature below will result in restoration of my service within 48 hours of receipt.

I agree if Mediacom receives an additional notice from this or any owner of copyright alleging infringement that Mediacom can and will, in its discretion consistent with its Acceptsble User Poilcy, disable my access to its high-speed Internet service permanently, or remove infringing material, and that after the proper time period has elapsed allowing the filing of a counter notification I may be permanently barred from using Mediacom's service.


TheXerox

join:2002-04-05
Iowa

From the looks of things you'll be fine if you sign the letter and quit downloading/uploading stuff on bit torrent. Technically, it's not the downloading that will get you into trouble, you can do that until the cows come home and the law won't be able to touch you - at least for now anyways. However, if you are uploading (something bit torrent does by default) then you are engaging in copyright infringement which IS illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

I knew someone who got the same letter you got, Mediacom isn't looking to take you to court, they got a notice from a copyright holder who told them to tell their customer (my friend) to knock it off or else they'd look into a legal remedy for the situation. This appears to be Mediacom covering their back (and presumably your's too) by getting you to stop it before some corporate lawyer goes after them and/or their customer. The letter doesn't say you did it, but it does say that you understand such activity happened and that you'll do what you can to stop it as to avoid getting your service shut off.

Now if you know for a fact that neither you or anyone else in your home isn't doing this, then talk to Mediacom and see what they say. I would also suggest that if you have a wireless router then you should best look into getting that secured too. Who knows who else might be accessing that without your knowledge.


threexk

join:2009-01-13
reply to ALsuspended

Congratulations on your second DMCA-based ISP copyright-infringement notice!

If you were infringing copyright (you didn't dispute this in your initial post so I assume you were): Acknowledging receipt of Mediacom's notice does not admit guilt nor does it affect the copyright holder's ability to sue you. (The copyright holder could sue you whether or not they contacted Mediacom about your infringement!) By signing and returning the letter, Mediacom will basically have two strikes on you. So one more strike and no service. This is just Mediacom's policy. (Legally, to qualify for DMCA Safe Harbor, Mediacom must have a termination policy for repeat copyright infringers--it doesn't necessarily have to be three strikes.) At that point you could go to another ISP.

This letter and Mediacom's whole process is about DMCA Safe Harbor: Roughly, if Mediacom plays by the rules of the DMCA, they don't have to be liable for users' infringement (i.e., they have safe harbor).

If you didn't infringe copyright, you could file a counter-notice with Mediacom. To do that properly, you would need to first request information from Mediacom about what you were alleged to have infringed copyright on (the complainant is required to provide that information to the OSP (Mediacom) and Mediacom did not pass that information on to you). After submitting your counter-notice, Mediacom would notify the copyright holder of your counter-notice. Then, the copyright holder has 10-14 days to sue you, after which, if they have not, Mediacom would be legally required to reinstate your access (well, actually to reinstate the infringing content). Note that if you file a false counter-notice you are liable for damages.

In summary, if you infringed, do what Mediacom wants--it increases your risk of getting your service disconnected but does not increase your risk of lawsuit fro the copyright holder. If you didn't infringe and you are willing to take an increased risk of being sued, file a counter notice. chillingeffects.org has lots of information on how to write them.

Good luck!

Reading materials:
»www.chillingeffects.org
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Cop···ht_Owner
»eff.org



ALsuspended

@dealnews.com
reply to ALsuspended

Thanks for all the help!

(I can never make sense of "legalese".)



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3

said by ALsuspended :

Thanks for all the help!

(I can never make sense of "legalese".)
Huh? What part of "legalese" do you need to understand to know you were downloading illegal material? I mean really...Why you didn't stop after the first warning says there are other things you don't understand either...


bionicRod
Funkier than a mohair disco ball.
Premium
join:2009-07-06
united state
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to ALsuspended

said by ALsuspended :

Thanks for all the help!

(I can never make sense of "legalese".)
Let me translate:

Basically, what Mediacom is saying is...

STOP ILLEGALLY DOWNLOADING CONTENT OR WE WILL KICK YOUR ASS OFF OUR NETWORK!!!

Hope this helps!

Mycosyco

join:2007-12-30
reply to ALsuspended

I signed mine, however I never got an actual first notice. A friend of mind that lives here in the same town got the same "second notice" although he never received a first one.

In the end, sign it and be a bit more clever in the future.



thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2
reply to ALsuspended

99% of my internet traffic is copyright infringing and I've never received a notice. Are you using public trackers? Use private sites and you will be fine. Better yet get a seedbox and never run a bittorrent client on your home computer. Then all your traffic can be encrypted ftp traffic.


tlongren

join:2004-01-27
Collins, IA

Stop using public trackers and use private bittorrent trackers only. And usenet.


Halftech

join:2010-07-08
Jefferson City, MO
reply to ALsuspended

Please keep in mind that recently Mediacom has teamed up with Paramount Pictures. This new sleeping arangment allowed Paramount Pictues to force Mediacom to install Bittorrnet tracking software that sent infridgment letters out to allot of inocent people by mistake. The Mediacom tech we talked to today had just gotten the internal email about the bug in the paramount tracking software and they were in the process of removing the piracy flags from users account who were effected. You might want to call them if your letter has Paramount Pictures name in it becuase you may be false accoused like we were.



BAINCH
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2003-04-02
Blooming Grove, NY
kudos:11

2 recommendations

said by Halftech:

Please keep in mind that recently Mediacom has teamed up with Paramount Pictures. This new sleeping arangment allowed Paramount Pictues to force Mediacom to install Bittorrnet tracking software that sent infridgment letters out to allot of inocent people by mistake. The Mediacom tech we talked to today had just gotten the internal email about the bug in the paramount tracking software and they were in the process of removing the piracy flags from users account who were effected. You might want to call them if your letter has Paramount Pictures name in it becuase you may be false accoused like we were.
This statement is inaccurate. Mediacom does not have any special agreement with Paramount or any other content owner regarding protection for their content on the internet. We do not run any bittorrent or other P2P tracking software in an attempt to catch offenders. What Mediacom does do is attempt to abide by the ISP "safe-harbor" obligations in DMCA. So when we get a notice from a content owner, you get a notice from Mediacom.


drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

said by BAINCH:

said by Halftech:

Please keep in mind that recently Mediacom has teamed up with Paramount Pictures. This new sleeping arangment allowed Paramount Pictues to force Mediacom to install Bittorrnet tracking software that sent infridgment letters out to allot of inocent people by mistake. The Mediacom tech we talked to today had just gotten the internal email about the bug in the paramount tracking software and they were in the process of removing the piracy flags from users account who were effected. You might want to call them if your letter has Paramount Pictures name in it becuase you may be false accoused like we were.
This statement is inaccurate. Mediacom does not have any special agreement with Paramount or any other content owner regarding protection for their content on the internet. We do not run any bittorrent or other P2P tracking software in an attempt to catch offenders. What Mediacom does do is attempt to abide by the ISP "safe-harbor" obligations in DMCA. So when we get a notice from a content owner, you get a notice from Mediacom.
Thanks for that. Please explain how the content owners and Mediacom come to know which specific individuals should be notified regarding their behavior on the Mediacom network. I think it is necessary for you to address this otherwise folks just brush aside your claims about not hunting down offenders with tracking software. I believe you but I don't think everybody does.

My guess is that the content owner obtains the IP address of an offending uploader and passes that to Mediacom for identification and to send the notice. Is that correct?

Thanks again.
--
Save water...drink beer!
--
Obama...it's junior high school all over again!
--
Democrats don't mind raising taxes because democrats don't pay taxes.


BAINCH
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2003-04-02
Blooming Grove, NY
kudos:11

said by drslash:

Thanks for that. Please explain how the content owners and Mediacom come to know which specific individuals should be notified regarding their behavior on the Mediacom network. I think it is necessary for you to address this otherwise folks just brush aside your claims about not hunting down offenders with tracking software. I believe you but I don't think everybody does.

My guess is that the content owner obtains the IP address of an offending uploader and passes that to Mediacom for identification and to send the notice. Is that correct?
Content owners pay third-party companies to run spy-apps on the various networks or torrents. They don't run "in" the Mediacom network but they can certainly connect to Mediacom customers. When they successfully "download" a portion of the copyright material from an IP, they look up the ISP and send out a violation notice. We connect the IP and time to a customer based on DHCP logs and some additional confirmations we do to ensure it wasn't a cloned modem or IP spoof. Then we send the notice.

Hope that helps.


drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

said by BAINCH:

said by drslash:

Thanks for that. Please explain how the content owners and Mediacom come to know which specific individuals should be notified regarding their behavior on the Mediacom network. I think it is necessary for you to address this otherwise folks just brush aside your claims about not hunting down offenders with tracking software. I believe you but I don't think everybody does.

My guess is that the content owner obtains the IP address of an offending uploader and passes that to Mediacom for identification and to send the notice. Is that correct?
Content owners pay third-party companies to run spy-apps on the various networks or torrents. They don't run "in" the Mediacom network but they can certainly connect to Mediacom customers. When they successfully "download" a portion of the copyright material from an IP, they look up the ISP and send out a violation notice. We connect the IP and time to a customer based on DHCP logs and some additional confirmations we do to ensure it wasn't a cloned modem or IP spoof. Then we send the notice.

Hope that helps.
Thanks again. Yes that does help. That is about how I imagined that it worked.

One more question, on the Mediacom end, do you have any way of knowing whether the offending IP address has a wireless network and whether it is secured or not? I say the answer is no. Some people just don't understand the risk they put themselves under if they have an unsecured wireless network. Does Mediacom try to work with customers who get a notice and claim they have no idea about such activity only to find out later that they had an unsecured wireless network?
--
Save water...drink beer!
--
Obama...it's junior high school all over again!
--
Democrats don't mind raising taxes because democrats don't pay taxes.


BAINCH
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2003-04-02
Blooming Grove, NY
kudos:11

1 recommendation

said by drslash:

One more question, on the Mediacom end, do you have any way of knowing whether the offending IP address has a wireless network and whether it is secured or not? I say the answer is no. Some people just don't understand the risk they put themselves under if they have an unsecured wireless network. Does Mediacom try to work with customers who get a notice and claim they have no idea about such activity only to find out later that they had an unsecured wireless network?
We can see NAT translations going through but it doesn't tell us whether the router is wired, wireless or combo. If we provide the gateway then it is possible although that is not something we monitor (try to respect customer privacy.)

We have had a few customers claim, "I'm innocent, please help me prove it." In those cases we have investigated further and found a few common causes:

1. "little John junior" or his friends are responsible. Mom and Dad didn't know.

2. Open wireless, so the neighbor was doing it (still the customer's legal responsibility.)

3. Running bittorrent/edonkey etc for "legit" content and didn't realized many of those applications PUSH unrequested content to their computer for "temporary storage."

and my personal favorite:

4. "What? This is illegal? Then how come I'm just allowed to go to this website and download torrents?"


drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

Thanks.


Halftech

join:2010-07-08
Jefferson City, MO
reply to BAINCH

Thanks Bainch. The infringement letter we got had a IP address that was never ours according to our Linux DHCP logs. There was no way we could have down loaded the movie listed in the letter. Was this just a serious case of negligence by Mediacom? They told us it was not related to our week without service. Our outage started the day we were flagged and our service came back on the day the flag was removed when Mediacom found their mistake. We have never been notified for infringement in the past and have never missed a bill. I have been doing some thinking on how stupid and out of hand the copyright laws used for profit has become. Think about this. You download a movie you were never going to buy and get a notice. The movie would have been $15. You download a second $15 movie and Mediacom sends a letter and cuts you off according to the guy who started this post. Now Mediacom is losing $60+ a month for $30 worth of infringements. Over time that really adds up for the ISP and probably a lot of users will drop their cable completely for a dish. It is not the ISPs responsibility to enforce the copyright laws so some company like Paramount Pictures can make there Hugh bonuses. ISPs need to start fighting back or Hollywood is going to caused them Hugh loses.


RouterReload

join:2008-09-02

I don't think the ISP's should fight back anymore than they do. It would be unethical to defend someone if they were guilty just to make a buck or two. If people are stealing, there need to be consequences. That's pretty much how history has worked. But apparently their processes for confirming who was doing the downloading needs work to be more accurate. It's unfortunate if people get wrongly accused. But you get multiple chances before service is fully terminated.

I know some of the copyright holders have stopped sending notices and have just started filing lawsuits. That's a little over the top but I don't think people should be able to get away with being able to illegally download material with no consequences. I hope ISP's don't end up defending thieves.

I say they charge people on their bill the retail price of whatever they download if they get past their 3 notices or whatever. If you've had 3 chances to stop illegal downloading, that's plenty. Or have some sort of monetary penalty. The only way to get the point across to people is to get them in the wallet(I know money speaks louder than words for me at least). Also, on your second offense when your account gets suspended, Mediacom doesn't lose money because you're still paying your bill. No credit for being suspended. Or so I've been told.



BAINCH
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2003-04-02
Blooming Grove, NY
kudos:11

1 recommendation

reply to ALsuspended

I'll say this. As an ISP, we don't believe we should be the Internet Police. The industry, Cable and Phone ISPs together, fought against the DMCA. We lost. The content owners (who also own most TV and newspaper outlets) have just too much influence in Congress. So we do what we must to maintain compliance with the law. No more, no less.



Boss302_1970

join:2009-12-11

Agreed, why should it be mediacoms job to police anything? they supply a service, but why should they help the mppa, riaa. Technology will always (it appears) stay ahead of the copy protection. I dont condone any sort of stealing, but I also dont support paying an outrageous price for a usually poor quality mp3. or avi compared to what you can buy at retail outlets either. wav files are vastly better sonically then an mp3, and vobs are much better then an avi or comparable format.



anon0

@responsestaff.com
reply to ALsuspended

what if you get a letter and know all bit torrenting in the house is stopped, but a get a letter from a previous week or 2 before the first letter? do you actually get turned off at 3 letters? or is it 3 infringement letters from the same company, like 3 from cbs or 3 from hbo or something.

my roomate moved out the 2nd week of june and i've gotten letters from incidents before that. I have no bit torrent clients running on any machines i have running right now. looking at my router my downloads per month dropped about 50gig since hes gone and my uploads barely top 200 so there is no way im sharing stuff.

just curious if im gonna end up paying for crap he did while living with me.


akawaldojr

join:2004-10-23
Dubuque, IA
reply to ALsuspended

I download unlicensed fansub anime. I use utorrent. I get most of my stuff from private trackers.

They sent me a letter telling me I downloaded avatar by mnight shitinmyhand.

Every torrent that I ever clicked on in the past 2 years is saved in a nice little folder for me in case I want to seed or download the anime again.

IT never went through my computer and I am directly connected to the modem.


v_lestat
The Blood Is The Life

join:2002-11-09
reply to anon0

said by anon0 :

what if you get a letter and know all bit torrenting in the house is stopped, but a get a letter from a previous week or 2 before the first letter? do you actually get turned off at 3 letters? or is it 3 infringement letters from the same company, like 3 from cbs or 3 from hbo or something.

my roomate moved out the 2nd week of june and i've gotten letters from incidents before that. I have no bit torrent clients running on any machines i have running right now. looking at my router my downloads per month dropped about 50gig since hes gone and my uploads barely top 200 so there is no way im sharing stuff.

just curious if im gonna end up paying for crap he did while living with me.
You are 100% liable in many states for the actions taken by your roommate because he is a resident of your legally rented appartment.

now, if you two both signed the lease, and both split the cable bill cost, utilities, etc, you have the ability to prove that it was a joint venture and therefore not liable for the actions of your roommate.

but if the cable, apartment, utilities, etc are in your name, then you are s.o.l. my friend.

the excuse that "my roommate did it" doesnt hold water in very many states.
--
System Specs
Intel Q9650 Quad Core @ 3.85ghz Water Cooled
DFI X48 T2RSB Plus - 2gb OCZ PC9200 Reapers -SB X-Fi -8800 GTX 768meg
Logitech Z5300 THX 5.1 spk
Dell 2407 LCD and Dell 2007 LCD

threexk

join:2009-01-13
reply to BAINCH

said by BAINCH:

said by drslash:

One more question, on the Mediacom end, do you have any way of knowing whether the offending IP address has a wireless network and whether it is secured or not? I say the answer is no. Some people just don't understand the risk they put themselves under if they have an unsecured wireless network. Does Mediacom try to work with customers who get a notice and claim they have no idea about such activity only to find out later that they had an unsecured wireless network?
We can see NAT translations going through but it doesn't tell us whether the router is wired, wireless or combo. If we provide the gateway then it is possible although that is not something we monitor (try to respect customer privacy.)

We have had a few customers claim, "I'm innocent, please help me prove it." In those cases we have investigated further and found a few common causes:

1. "little John junior" or his friends are responsible. Mom and Dad didn't know.

2. Open wireless, so the neighbor was doing it (still the customer's legal responsibility.)

3. Running bittorrent/edonkey etc for "legit" content and didn't realized many of those applications PUSH unrequested content to their computer for "temporary storage."

and my personal favorite:

4. "What? This is illegal? Then how come I'm just allowed to go to this website and download torrents?"
Funny. I know people who think #4, it blows my mind.

Just curious, what is done when the user claims someone hacked into their machine and used it for illegal downloads? Is the user still considered responsible? Are they guilty until proven innocent?

If someone breaks into my house and calls in a bomb threat, I shouldn't get put in jail, even if I had left a door unlocked.

k9iua6

join:2004-05-23
Dubuque, IA
kudos:1

said by threexk:

Just curious, what is done when the user claims someone hacked into their machine and used it for illegal downloads? Is the user still considered responsible? Are they guilty until proven innocent?
I believe a resident would be responsible for any equipment they installed beyond what is provided or needed by their ISP. In other words, with a wireless access point you install, you would be considered responsible for seeing that it is secured and not being used by outsiders. I know that is the stance we place on the residential students at our educational institution. We permit them to install consumer wireless access points in their residences, but we also ask that they take at least minimal steps to secure them by changing administrator passwords and suggest they introduce some level of encryption and turn off broadcasting.

We actually had a case where we received an incidence of downloading copyrighted material, and when we traced it through our system, found it traced to an open wireless port. Fortunately it was another of our students who was inadvertently picking up that wireless access point instead of their own, and could take further steps, but it can happen.

But the short answer is that I believe the copyright holders would still see you responsible if someone used your network, with or without permission.

threexk

join:2009-01-13

said by k9iua6:

I believe a resident would be responsible for any equipment they installed beyond what is provided or needed by their ISP. In other words, with a wireless access point you install, you would be considered responsible for seeing that it is secured and not being used by outsiders. I know that is the stance we place on the residential students at our educational institution. We permit them to install consumer wireless access points in their residences, but we also ask that they take at least minimal steps to secure them by changing administrator passwords and suggest they introduce some level of encryption and turn off broadcasting.

We actually had a case where we received an incidence of downloading copyrighted material, and when we traced it through our system, found it traced to an open wireless port. Fortunately it was another of our students who was inadvertently picking up that wireless access point instead of their own, and could take further steps, but it can happen.

But the short answer is that I believe the copyright holders would still see you responsible if someone used your network, with or without permission.
I can understand holding the user responsible if a user does something negligent like an open wireless access point, doesn't change their admin password, etc. However, I don't think it's reasonable to expect users to be responsible for the absolute security of their systems. Windows often has 0-day vulnerabilities, like the recent .lnk exploit that was found in the wild and took several weeks for Microsoft to patch. Same for ubiquitous web browsers, Adobe products, etc. Wireless routers can have 0-day flaws too; common models like the Linksys WRT54G have had them in the past. In fact, the WRT54G and others right now are susceptible to an attack called "DNS rebinding". If you expect users to keep their wireless routers perfectly secure, you expect them to not use them at all. Generally, perfect security is not currently attainable, so it's not a reasonable expectation.

You're surely right though that the content providers would still see you as responsible. I'm pretty sure they took at least one user to court who claimed they had been hacked. Mediacom isn't responsible for ascertaining someone's guilt anyway; they just follow the DMCA by conveying the accusation and under the DMCA the user has a right to appeal (i.e., counter-notification). I suppose when it comes down to it, legal changes are needed to prevent abuse by content providers.