dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Suddenlink Pretends DMCA Forces Them To Kick You Offline
And keep you off the Internet for six months...
by Karl Bode 11:10AM Monday Sep 27 2010
Cox Communications terminates their users' connection to the Internet should they get caught repeatedly transferring copyrighted files. Cox tells users this is required of them under the DMCA, when in fact that's simply not the case. Now Suddenlink is taking a page out of the Cox playbook according to Torrent Freak -- kicking users off the network for P2P use -- then telling those users that the ISP is required to do this by law. What's more, Suddenlink is telling users the DMCA requires users stay disconnected for six months:
quote:
Customer: The law states that?

Suddenlink rep: Once the 3rd offense occurs, it can not be reconnected for 6 months.

Suddenlink Rep: The information I have on the DMCA states: This law was enacted in 1998 to protect against illegal downloading of copyrighted material like movies, music, etc. As an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Suddenlink , and other ISPs, must implement a policy of terminating internet service of customers who repeatedly share copyrighted files.
Of course the support agent is simply reading from the script, and the script is wrong. Absolutely nowhere in the DMCA does it requires that ISPs terminate user connections, and any ISP that's doing so is doing so voluntarily. There's a growing number of ISPs doing this to try and stay on the entertainment industry's good side to protect content business relationships; from Qwest (who kicks people off the network but has never been willing to talk about the practice) to Verizon (who threatens to kick people of the network but appears to be bluffing).

Consumers might be better served by finding ISPs that don't have quite such a creative interpretation of law.

view:
topics flat nest 

chris
Poor Impulse Control
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Middletown, CT

1998???

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.

Transmaster
Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

join:2001-06-20
Cheyenne, WY
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: 1998???

said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
Well that isn't true, remember Napster. Cut people off for 6 months and guess what they will be a customer of somebody else.
--
I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
- Mark Twain in Eruption

chris
Poor Impulse Control
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Middletown, CT

1 recommendation

Re: 1998???

said by Transmaster:

said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
Well that isn't true, remember Napster. Cut people off for 6 months and guess what they will be a customer of somebody else.
Not according to this;

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster

The service operated between June 1999 and July 2001

So again I say, 1998? Please.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: 1998???

said by chris:

said by Transmaster:

said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
Well that isn't true, remember Napster. Cut people off for 6 months and guess what they will be a customer of somebody else.
Not according to this;

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster

The service operated between June 1999 and July 2001

So again I say, 1998? Please.
In 1998 there were tons of FTP sites that operated from DSL lines. To get access you typically had to either upload (UL/DL ratio) or go click on porn or ads to get a "secret password" which sometimes did not work...

MrMoody
Free range slave
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC
said by chris:

So again I say, 1998? Please.
How and why do you think the DMCA came into existence? The industry lobbyists were pushing for protection from the evil internet.

Two words for you: Usenet binaries.
--
Real estate taxes are a violation of property rights.

techjoe
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Warrenville, IL
kudos:1
said by Transmaster:

said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
Well that isn't true, remember Napster. Cut people off for 6 months and guess what they will be a customer of somebody else.
LOL? I guess all of those IRC and BBS file traders were going completely unnoticed pre-napster.
--
Baka wa shinanakya naoranai

chris
Poor Impulse Control
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Middletown, CT

1 recommendation

Re: 1998???

said by techjoe:

said by Transmaster:

said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
Well that isn't true, remember Napster. Cut people off for 6 months and guess what they will be a customer of somebody else.
LOL? I guess all of those IRC and BBS file traders were going completely unnoticed pre-napster.
I would actually suggest that for the most part, yes they were. It was definitely not in the mainstream until Napster. I think pre-Napster, no one knew how big it would really get.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by chris:

People barely had high speed access in 1998. In 1998 I don't think the RIAA/MPAA had any idea that people would be sharing files over the Internet.
So are you debating that the DMCA was around in 1998 (it was) or that the MPAA/RIAA supported it (it did) or that people where sharing files at that time (it was). It might not have been as high speed as it is these days, but I remember having a 1.5 or 3mbit cable modem connection my sophmore year in college (Fall of 1998) in my apartment.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 recommendation

Nice!

Well I guess that's one way to get out of a contract.

You know though, if a company tells me it doesn't want my money, that's fine with me. Even if I had to do without any type of Internet service, I would cheerfully continue to not pay a company to treat me like crap.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Re: Nice!

Wait until they tell you that even though you are disconnected, you will still need to pay the ETF.

Thaler
Premium
join:2004-02-02
Los Angeles, CA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Re: Nice!

I'd likely tell them to stuff it where the sun don't shine. Disconnect me for six months? You better believe:

A. I'm not paying for those six months.
B. I'm finding a different ISP.
nnaarrnn

join:2004-09-30
Nitro, WV
there is no ETF/Contract with Suddenlink unless you're a business.
corinthos

join:2007-10-09

I hate when corporations try to pass the blame

I hate when corporations try to pass the blame for policies on law.

Like gamestop in my area requiring ID for M rated games. There is no law in my city or state to require it. I'm 27 and they still make me dig out my ID saying that it is the law they see it.

trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: I hate when corporations try to pass the blame

[sarcasm]
But think of the children!
[/sarcasm]

I was trying to be funny here. Yes, there is no law that states that they have to do it. Probably some parent walked into Gamestop, noticed that they weren't checking the age of people who are buying "mature" games and then proceeded to complain even though it's their fault for not being a parent.

Pass the blame, plain and simple.
--
Tom

SteveLV702
Premium
join:2004-04-22
Las Vegas, NV
said by corinthos:

I hate when corporations try to pass the blame for policies on law.

Like gamestop in my area requiring ID for M rated games. There is no law in my city or state to require it. I'm 27 and they still make me dig out my ID saying that it is the law they see it.
ya well 3 different states I have lived in all the Wal-Marts did the same thing.... They didnt just ask to see your ID they actually had to input your date in the computer before let them check you out..
kernelpanic

join:2010-07-06
Crowley, TX
said by corinthos:

I'm 27 and they still make me dig out my ID saying that it is the law they see it.
and you continue to shop there, so it must not be that big of an issue for you

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 edit

Following their TOS; but blaming law for PR reasons

Suddenlink screwed up PR-wise. They had the right under their TOS to do what they did, but lied to make it look like they weren't the bad guy. But they got caught & called out on it. Now they look like morons. Whatever exec dreamed up the lie should get fired for incompetence.
casey2514

join:2010-03-16

1 recommendation

But Suddenlink may be right...

But Karl, take a look at section 512(i). Terminating repeat infringers isn't an absolute requirement, but ISPs must do so if they want to avail themselves of the safe harbor:

(i) Conditions for Eligibility.—
(1) Accommodation of technology.— The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider—
(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider’s system or network who are repeat infringers . . .
jasso

join:2004-11-15
Chico, TX

1 recommendation

Re: But Suddenlink may be right...

The point here is that there is no law requiring the ISP to boot the users.

Since the law only states the requirement for an optional legal status, these ISPs trying to claim that the law forces them do it are plain lying.

dmca 512i

@sonnet.com

Re: But Suddenlink may be right...

It looks like Suddenlink is right. It isn't an optional legal status, unless the ISP likes the idea of being liable for copyright infringement. 512(i) seems to say that if an ISP does not have a reasonable policy for disconnecting repeat users, it is not protected by the DMCA safe harbor provisions, in the event a copyright holder decides to sue the ISP because of a repeat offender.

Suddenlink FTW.

In fact, as I understood the DMCA, the ISP is required to remove the infringement or cut off service until the customer removes it or ceases it. 512(i) seems to say that a pattern of infringement must be a cause for permanent disconnection.
jasso

join:2004-11-15
Chico, TX

Re: But Suddenlink may be right...

said by dmca 512i :

It looks like Suddenlink is right. It isn't an optional legal status, unless the ISP likes the idea of being liable for copyright infringement.
Ok, but where is the law stating that they are required to have safe harbor protection?

said by dmca 512i :

512(i) seems to say that if an ISP does not have a reasonable policy for disconnecting repeat users, it is not protected by the DMCA safe harbor provisions, in the event a copyright holder decides to sue the ISP because of a repeat offender.
Yes, this is correct. If they don't have those policies, then they may not have protection from lawsuits. But this still isn't the same as legally requiring the ISP to have safe harbor protection.

said by dmca 512i :

512(i) seems to say that a pattern of infringement must be a cause for permanent disconnection.
There is no dictation of how long the disconnection must be, only that there be a policy in place and the users notified of such a policy in order to have the protection.

In short, there is no legal requirement for the ISP to have safe harbor protection, so they are not legally obligated to have such policies in place. They are only required if they choose to have safe harbor protection. The ISP trying to claim that they are legally bound to kick you off is still a lie.

dmca 512i

@sonnet.com

Re: But Suddenlink may be right...

quote:
Yes, this is correct. If they don't have those policies, then they may not have protection from lawsuits. But this still isn't the same as legally requiring the ISP to have safe harbor protection.

You are making a distinction without a difference. No ISP is going to operate without immunity from the copyright violations committed by its customers.
jasso

join:2004-11-15
Chico, TX

Re: But Suddenlink may be right...

said by dmca 512i :

No ISP is going to operate without immunity from the copyright violations committed by its customers.
But that is still their own choice to do so. There is no law requiring them to have the status.

That is the distinction. It's the ISP choosing to take the more profitable/less risky path, not that they are constricted along that path by law.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Call it TOS, don't call it the law

Companies have the right to put whatever they want in their TOS. However it's their TOS/policy, and shoould not be confused with the law of the land. It's that simple.
duranr

join:2006-10-14
Leonia, NJ

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

So if their TOS says they can shoot you in the knee-cap after the 4th copyright infringement, then it's okay because it's in the TOS? Rethink your statement.

No, they cannot put whatever they like in the TOS. Especially if something they stipulate is against the law.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

It is not illegal to cut your internet off after an arbitrary number of C&D letters.

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

It should be - this is one of the absolutely ILLEGAL part of the rotten DMCA, to task private, for-profit corporations to do any kind of law enforcement.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

Companies have the right to refuse service to a consumer, for whatever reason. It's their prerogative to lose potential revenue...

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

That's a different issue.
iansltx

join:2007-02-19
Austin, TX
kudos:2

Re: Call it TOS, don't call it the law

As long as companies don't say that you're violating the law when you aren't, it isn't.
qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

If your money isn't green enough for them...

...then go somewhere else-the FCC claims there's ALL THIS COMPETITION out there-so much so that telcos and cablecos can do whatever they want.

HUH? you can't find it? Too bad!

jimbo48

join:2000-11-17
Hayward, CA

Another lie another issue to be ignored

NOTHING will come of this because there is no one in Washington that is willing to do anything about these perpetual lies and mis-conduct coming from these ISPs. They will continue to over-charge, lie, falsify information and will continue to get away with it. The lesson here is that the consumer does not have deep enough pockets to get any legal protection from the predatory, discriminatory and illegal activities of the Feds and their bedfellows the Various Service providers.
As I write, the Feds are calling for a method to wiretap,intercept and break the security of ANY and ALL forms of communication over the Internet all falling under "National security" needs which includes any and all of your financial /banking activities. Can anyone else see the writing on the wall? Scares the hell out of me!

gatorkram
Need for Speed
Premium
join:2002-07-22
Winterville, NC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

From my cold dead hands...

Looks like I might have to change my signature, and icon...

You can take my freedom, my privacy, and anything else, but you can never take my internet.... Oh....wait...

What country is this again?

In Soviet Russia, Internet disconnects you...
--
Give me bandwidth or give me death!
»/testhistory/661871/4f240
jim_p_price7

join:2005-10-28
Henryetta, OK
Reviews:
·HughesNet Satell..

Pathetic attitudes all around

Have any of you whining little b****s ever owned a company? God, all of you sound like you still live with mommy and daddy.

Here's the deal: Internet is a service, not a right. The company that provides that service can either choose to sell it to you or not. Kinda like "no shirt, no shoes, no service". Follow me so far?

If you don't like the rules, shut the hell up and go find a different ISP already.

Now, as for the service reps lying about whether or not they're required to dump your service under the law, I can kind of understand that. I run an ISP and if any of you aren't familiar with the CALEA requirement, you should read up on it.

At any time I can be approached by law enforcement, and be required to do something about those customers trading illegal files on MY network. Which means I'm wasting MY otherwise productive time having to play IP traffic cop.

You really think I want to deal with that? That I want to hang my ass out there for some no-life loser who thinks the world owes him every copywritten work he wants for free?

I'll tell those lawbreaking customers any damn thing I want when I have to terminate their service, and I could care less whether or not they get their feelings hurt over it.

Maybe they should get a freaking job and go buy that movie or CD instead of just expecting to use my network to facillitate their crime. That's right, I said crime. Last time I checked, stealing was still a crime.

•••

antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4

Don't some ISPs do this already?

I recall Adelphia did this too.

60373562

join:2004-04-13
Glendale, AZ

ISPs are allowed to refuse you service...

According to certain Cox representatives, the ISPs stance is that they aren't required to offer you service period. And use of service is a wonderful privilege they grant us as paying customers and may revoke when it suits them.

With this issue getting more serious, where does it end? When there's only one high-speed option (not that silly 128Kbps broadband) in town and they decided to ban you as a customer based upon an allegation?

As dial-up dies, what do people do to gain internet access? ISPs don't want to be regulated, then they do silly practices like this. Whether they want to admit to the reality or not, the internet is about to become a utility.

I'm just worried how.

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

+1 reason to GET RID OF the illegal DMCA and get FCC WORKING

Seriously: this is exactly why we have the FCC, nothing else.
The Antihero

join:2002-04-09
Enola, PA

Re: +1 reason to GET RID OF the illegal DMCA and get FCC WORKING

said by kamm:

Seriously: this is exactly why we have the FCC, nothing else.
You mean it isn't to protect us from naked boobs on TV?

mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
·Verizon Online DSL
·Comcast

Re: +1 reason to GET RID OF the illegal DMCA and get FCC WORKING

or fine tv/radio stations for saying fuck,piss,shit,etc even though it is after 10pm???
Cumon if a kid is watching a tv station or listening to radio after 10pm their parents need shot. My kids Will NOT be watching tv without me beside them after 10pm.