Saturday, March 28, 2009

Your ISP Can and WILL Tell All

This piece came about as the result of a previous comment about ISPs I made on March 21, in response to Esta's article, Is Google Committing Theft

Excerpted :

' send the entire file from your PC to another is considered illegal on the part of the ISPs which will have to surrender all the records about the offenders if requested. The ISPs are the ones caught in this mess as well and ultimately their records and the users' PCs are the ones that are used to create a Copyright Infringement case....

That's only the tip of the iceberg'....

Closer to home, AT&T, my own ISP declares it is now keeping closer tabs on
Copyrights Violations offenders.
That means that AT&T and others like
Cox Communications, Comcast and Verizon have tweaked their
record-keeping methods to enable more thorough, faster
access to their own
version of the Criminal Offender Database.
All this extra work, in spite of the massive layoffs and cutbacks occurring everywhere !

Perhaps the current 8.1% unemployment rate will drop with this latest effort by the ISPs who are spurred by highly-paid lawyers bent on extracting fines for their Media Mogul financiers.

NEW YORK - AT&T Inc., the nation's largest Internet service provider, will start sending warnings to its subscribers when music labels and movie studios allege that they are trafficking in pirated material, according to an executive.

The phone company thus joins other major ISPs that either go beyond legal requirements or interpret their duties under the law to mean that they have to forward such notices.....

......Copyright holders like movie studios can, in many cases, identify Internet users who download or provide pirated material by their numerical Internet address, but cannot match it up with a subscriber name without the cooperation of the Internet service provider.....

....ISPs have previously identified their customers to copyright holders who bring court orders. The copyright holders and their representatives, like the RIAA, have then been able to sue the customers.

Sites where Hackers, Spammers and Pirates run amok often come up along with Freebies when I do a Search for a video or song file. Which is how I learned that there are tons of unreleased, private audio/video and software available for me to Download. Curious about the process, I dug deep and gained free access to the files. So here's my take on 'How-it-works'.......

If I want to play with the 'big boys' of Downloading I have to go through their initiation and ranking process, which would include opening up and sharing of my PC with them in exchange for all the 'free' stuff they are willing to give me. Freebie files are often uploaded as Torrents

that they have created by ingenious deciphering, collecting and re-engineering what were once parts of private internet archives and transmissions. Theirs is a massive, worldwide operation that offers so much by way of free instant gratification that they appear to many as the 'real' internet. However, the freebies are free only for so long in the hierarchical set here.

Like some Freeware which is only of the 'Trial Period' kind, the free Downloads I'm speaking often come at a heavy price, often months later when the user's confidence has been won over. In the long run, the freeloader who doesn't return the favor by uploading files frequently sees his ranking go down even while compromising all the private, personal info on his PC. This is how higher-ranking members often have 'bought' Premium memberships to these sites - with stolen Credit Card numbers.

Here is where the Instant Karma distributor morphs and leaves behind just the burnt-out shell of a PC for the user to rail at, to no avail. No traces of anything to incriminate in a Copyrights Violations case - or so it would seem. But that's where the ISP, the middle man steps in and becomes The Man who helps put people away, simply by retrieving and turning over all relevant info on the user's downloading habits, sites visited and repeat Warnings that they sent out (which were repeatedly) ignored. Those Warnings are unofficially the '3 Strikes and you're out' rule. The difference is that in Baseball parlance it's part of the game, not the precursor to legal proceedings.

Cox, the fifth-largest ISP in tAmerica with about 4 million Internet customers, interprets the law as requiring it to forward thousands of notices per month and has cut off a few repeat offenders, spokesman David Grabert said..

So would you be willing to give up any of your personal records for a bootleg
HD copy of Slumdog Millionaire or its Audio tracks available in Spanish, French,
Tamil, whatever ? I hope not. There has to be some sort of give and take, there is
no real free ride from ISPs. If you don't like their Terms of Service, tough.

Use your Public Library to access some of your favorite sites and see how
much fun that is.

The whole Yahoo news article is here

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