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AT&T, Comcast To Join RIAA Team 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-can-only-end-well dept.
suraj.sun writes "AT&T and Comcast, two of the nation's largest Internet service providers, are expected to be among a group of ISPs that will cooperate with the music industry in battling illegal file sharing, three sources close to the companies told CNET News. The RIAA said last month that it had enlisted the help of ISPs as part of a new antipiracy campaign. The RIAA has declined to identify which ISPs or how many. It's important to note that none of the half dozen or so ISPs involved has signed agreements. But as it stands, AT&T and Comcast are among the companies that have indicated they wish to participate in what the RIAA calls a 'graduated response program.'"
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AT&T, Comcast To Join RIAA Team

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  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:39AM (#26640251) Homepage
    I'm sure that's right out of the CIA 'Robust Interrogation' handbook. When do they get to pulling out the fingernails?
    • by gravos (912628) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:46AM (#26640379) Homepage
      As far as I can tell, this only increases their liability. Services providers have typically received immunity from the actions of their users, so long as there is a clear line between the service provider and the actions of their users. By blurring that line, it only opens them up to further liabilities. Universities learned this the hard way by giving in to the RIAA.
      • by gnick (1211984) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:57AM (#26640591) Homepage

        By dealing with the RIAA at all the ISPs are making a huge mistake. Is my utility company liable if I install grow lamps and start a marijuana farm because they failed to alert the authorities about the power increase? Is my phone company liable if I start calling the state prison regularly and it turns out that I'm organizing to have an informant killed because they weren't monitoring my phone records and didn't recommend a phone tap?

        By playing along even in a small role, the ISPs are really stepping in it...

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          By dealing with the RIAA at all the ISPs are making a huge mistake. Is my utility company liable if I install grow lamps and start a marijuana farm because they failed to alert the authorities about the power increase? Is my phone company liable if I start calling the state prison regularly and it turns out that I'm organizing to have an informant killed because they weren't monitoring my phone records and didn't recommend a phone tap?

          By playing along even in a small role, the ISPs are really stepping in it...

          I could be wrong, but if there is a spike in usage of water or power, utility companies will inform police of a possible grow op.

          • by AndrewNeo (979708) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:30PM (#26641193) Homepage
            So if I build four new computers and start to run them constantly for folding, the police are going to come bust down my door thinking I'm growing?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by samriel (1456543)
              yes, AND they'll confiscate your computer to look for CP and other illegal stuff. Murder somebody, though, and no cop will even look up your address.

              That's just, like, your opinion, man.
            • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:40PM (#26641379) Journal

              No. It's likely that they'd illegally use a FLIR camera [wikipedia.org] to look in your house before breaking down the door. Of course, when they get caught, they backpeddle [reason.com].

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Nick Ives (317)

                That decision against thermal-imaging cameras is quite silly, wouldn't that mean cops would need a warrant to look through your window? It's all just radiation, be it light or infra-red. I know the decision has all sorts of silly language about how the tech isn't generally available but still, passive imaging should always be OK.

                Not that I support prohibition or anything.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Dun Malg (230075)

                  That decision against thermal-imaging cameras is quite silly, wouldn't that mean cops would need a warrant to look through your window?

                  No. It's based on "expectation of privacy". If you do something in front of a window that's open to the street, there's no real expectation of privacy. If you do something in your windowless bathroom, the expectation is that it won't be seen. If the cops look into your closed up garage, whether they use IR/thermographic imaging, X-rays, sonographic imaging, or a code scanner that opens your garage door, if they do so without a warrant, that crosses the line. Of course if they can convincingly say they thoug

            • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:47PM (#26641479)

              No but the GP is close. The power company does look for odd balancing issues vs power usage. People who grow large quanities of dope tend to be a bit stupid and cheap. Including putting a couple thousand watts of lights on a single circuit in their basement. The in balanced loadis noticed by the power companies. Normally as long as you pay your bill they don'tcare. However the stupid and cheap part comes into play. They forget to pay their bill. And police eventually get called.

              I know of several arrsetts over the years from just such situations.

          • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:34PM (#26641259)

            I could be wrong, but if there is a spike in usage of water or power, utility companies will inform police of a possible grow op.

            Even if that's true (and I have no idea but it sounds fishy without a warrant), they are dealing with the government and not some self-declared police agency like the RIAA.

            If the phone company started looking for a burst of phone calls to Mexico and informed the Minute Men if there was a spike, people'd be furious.

            • by zappepcs (820751) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @02:14PM (#26642689) Journal

              If the phone company started looking for a burst of phone calls to Mexico and informed the Minute Men if there was a spike, people'd be furious.

              That is absolutely correct and more to the point, the story tag 'sneakernet' is the process that will ensure that file sharing never dies, and in fact directly robs the RIAA members of revenue. When you and 25 of your friends make a list of music you like, then each of you buys one new CD and copies it 25 times and passes them around to your CD group, the RIAA members lose directly. This is not a try-before-buy thing like a lot of file sharing is, it's full on loss of CD sales revenue :-)

              Besides making the ISPs culpable in any file sharing, they drive the problem to a place where it can't be detected or stopped. At that point, the RIAA members will have to admit that they aren't making money because all the do is promote crap at extortionate prices.

              This house of cards will fall too, as soon as NYCountryLawyer starts ISPvsThePeople blog and documents all the legal crap that starts happening when ISPs start narcing for the RIAA. Once they lose safe harbor protection via a law suit over P2P it will be interesting to see what other legal trouble they get into. Will they then be liable for voice traffic issues? If someone calls and threatens me and I ask the ISP to block voip calls from that person, will they become liable if they don't? Can I get a court order to force them to? There are literally thousands of issues that can arise if they lose safe harbor status. I kind of look forward to it in a weird sort of way.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by MightyYar (622222)

                then each of you buys one new CD and copies it 25 times and passes them around to your CD group, the RIAA members lose directly.

                Maybe, but there's also the possibility that each of you would have only bought a single CD one way or another - so the RIAA made exactly as much money on you and your friends pooling your resources. In other words, if each of you are willing to spend $20 on a CD and you share it with 25 friends who are willing to reciprocate, you'll have spent a total of $500. Who is to say that the group of you would have spent more than that if you didn't share?

                I kind of look forward to it in a weird sort of way.

                So do I... they are acting without thinking long term and it

              • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @03:17PM (#26643723)
                Replace "sneakernet" with VPN tunnels to a central datacenter location. Us IT folks are a fairly resourceful bunch. VPN tunnels can be explained away as work connections. Why so much traffic? I do graphics/video design work for a living sir!
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by ubrgeek (679399)
            *Insert "In Soviet Russia" joke here*
          • Re:Dude... (Score:5, Funny)

            by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:52PM (#26641563) Homepage

            Let's all start growing cucumber indoors.

          • Re:Dude... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ubercam (1025540) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:40PM (#26642207)

            My ex gf's dad built a garage in the middle of winter one year, and in order for the concrete to set properly, he had to run two big electric heaters day and night to keep it warm. The police came with a warrant to search the property for a grow op (alerted by the electricity company for abnormally high power usage), but found a new garage instead. They were a bit embarrassed, but turned their attention towards the fact that he now had 2 garages and too much of his property covered by outbuildings. He said he would knock down the old garage when the new one was all finished, but he lied, it's still there.

            As for grow ops, people get busted here all the time, at least weekly, often more frequently. They've moved into affluent neighbourhoods too, and now the law says home sellers have to disclose whether or not a home was used for a grow op (only within the past year though IIRC), because of all the mold and other problems that come from grow ops. The address list is also published on the police website [winnipeg.ca].

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MrLint (519792)

          I have been telling people for years the same thing, when you become the snitch, you are expected to snitch on everything. You miss something and now *bam* you are accessory after the fact.

          Not to mention that wait until they get sued by their own customers.

          "You knew that my internet was being used by someone for music piracy because you were watching, and you didn't let me know before i got sued by the RIAA?"

          Bars and casinos have already been sued for not stopping people with "addictions". Substitute "addic

      • by scotts13 (1371443) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:00PM (#26640651)
        You're probably right. I do quite a bit of consulting for K-12 schools; the watchword there is that once you attempt to filter content, you'd better filter perfectly, as you're responsible for anything that gets past. Does this translate into sanctioning your own users for inappropriate actions? I think it does.
      • by panoptical2 (1344319) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @01:37PM (#26642155)

        As far as I can tell, this only increases their liability. Services providers have typically received immunity from the actions of their users, so long as there is a clear line between the service provider and the actions of their users.

        What you are referring to is "Common Carrier" status. It prevents companies like UPS from being criminally liable for shipping cocaine, for example, overseas. It also prevents Telcoms from being liable for carrying information used to conduct criminal activities. If they actually get involved, though, they lose common carrier, and thus can become sued (or charged) for anything that occurs over their network.

        • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @02:18PM (#26642745)

          Incidentally, ISPs are not Common Carriers. Their protection comes from the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions instead.

          • My understanding is that the same restriction is in place for DMCA Safe Harbor. So his post is correct, he just used the wrong term.
            • Parent is correct (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MobyDisk (75490)

              From the DMCA Safe Harbor Requirements [wikipedia.org]

              • not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on the system or network is infringing (512(c)(1)(A)(1)).
              • not be aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent (512(c)(1)(A)(2)).
              • upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, must act expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material. (512(c)(1)(A)(2) and 512(c)(1)(C))
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Darundal (891860)
          ISPs are not common carriers. ISPs are not common carriers. ISPs are not common carriers.

          Everyone who thought the opposite please repeat that. The "ISP common carrier" meme needs to die.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Yes.

  • work out how much money the record companies make from sales.

    setup a server with all music on it that people can add to.

    charge people a fixed fee based on the record companies current sales to access the server and file share music as much as they like.

    Record companies get their money.
    People get as much music as they want.

    Win Win.

    • i forgot to add that the money should be distributed based on how many downloads their are, so independent people can make money off of the service too without having to go through a record lable.

      • What would you estimate the percentage of "CDs sold out of the musician's trunks" to be compared to the RIAA stats.

        Keep in mind, this is a company that still adds in a breakage fee, for digital downloads

    • Re:easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by greywire (78262) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:50AM (#26640467) Homepage

      Work out how much money the record companies think they are losing from piracy

      Setup filtering on the ISP's networks to prevent file sharing.

      charge people even more for their internet connections while throttling the speed.

      Record companies get their money (well, so they think)
      ISP's provide less service for more money.

      Win win.

      Unless you are a customer, in which case its a lose lose. Less access to music, less access to internet, pay more money.

      This is the easy solution that will actually be implemented.

    • First, there's the problem with measuring, "work out how much money the record companies make from sales." Whose numbers do you trust? Second, there's the issue of distribution of the money. Who gets what share of the money? Third there's the problem that once this system is put into place, there's no way of measuring how much money the record companies would have made this year if this system were not put in place. So how do you determine whether the amount should rise or fall year-to-year.

      And if tha

      • And if that weren't enough, it leaves no incentive for record companies to do anything useful ever again. They can just kick back and collect their checks.

        Oh, the humanity! That made me laugh out loud. Loved it. Will you be here all week? I mean, really, how does someone come up with the crazy idea that record companies do something useful?

    • The issue comes with "current" sales being less than their "goals." (A fundamental always present problem in capitalism, particularly of companies with shareholders). If you make an RIAA blessed file sharing service and let them set the price on their goals, you've at best, produced a less-financially viable alternative (due to their poor public persona) to other all-you-can-eat music services, and at worst further intrenched their near-monopoly when it comes to price setting.

      The second problem would be t
    • by joe_cot (1011355)
      This is another proposed solution. A voluntary (for your ISP, not for you) "music tax", that is an awful idea. It was discussed here [slashdot.org], and here's [slashdot.org] my extended list of why it's a bad idea.
  • Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iron-kurton (891451) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:43AM (#26640327)

    Does this really surprise anyone given that AT&T was at the forefront of the illegal wiretapping scandal?

    • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:48AM (#26640435) Homepage Journal

      Lets compare apples to rocks why don't we.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by iron-kurton (891451) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:06PM (#26640759)

        There are two points I was trying to subtly make:

        1. AT&T has shown that it is willing to sacrifice its consumers for its own agenda (and profit?) - as in the wiretapping case.

        2. Given that they have snooped on users' data in the past, I am not really surprised that they are doing it again, since a) they were protected by immunity the first time, and can probably do it again should this turn out to be illegal, and b) they have the technological framework in place already.

        Perhaps I should stop trying to be subtle in my posts and carry a sledgehammer... (yea, I'm new here)

        • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:12PM (#26640841)
          Perhaps I should stop trying to be subtle in my posts and carry a sledgehammer... (yea, I'm new here)

          It's not a bad idea. Subtlety doesn't go over well with some geeks (that whole denser-than-rocks thing and all). One need only look at the number of posts that simply say "wooosh" to back this up.
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by just_another_sean (919159) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:24PM (#26641093) Homepage Journal

        Lets compare apples to rocks why don't we.

        Apples, rocks, it seams that AT&T is perfectly willing to throw both at it's customers...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by redxxx (1194349)

      Does this really surprise anyone given that AT&T was at the forefront of the illegal wiretapping scandal?

      Likewise, I doubt anyone(who reads slashdot) would be surprised that Comcast is pulling this nonsense. They already shown a willingness to inspect and screw with their customers' packets. They have been shown to actively and intrusively interfere with p2p communication, and by teaming up with the RIAA they can now do so under the guise of fighting piracy.

  • The gang (Comcast, AT&T and the RIAA), have ganged up to frustrate internet users. That's sad. I hope they know full well that a chain is as strong as its weakest link. So unless all ISPs join "the gang" which is not the case, this arrangement will not work.

    My personal hope is that it fails. Period.

    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      The only way this could work for AT&T and Comcast would be to create parallel ISPs more expensive and publicly opposed to RIAA.

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:18PM (#26640955) Homepage

      Yuo hit the nail on the head. A company like Verizon can suddenly gain market share if they announce they will NOT join with the RIAA and condemn what Comcast and AT&T are doing.

      Suddenly, everyone that does not like it has a very strong reason to switch to Verizon (where they can) even if rates were higher.

      but honestly, corporations today are ran by weasels. They dont care if they screw the customer, their only care is if the next bonus is large enough to buy a new vacation home.

      They hate you as a customer. Completely and utterly hate you. If they did not then they would stand up for you instead of rolling over and playing dead.

  • Good to know. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snarfies (115214) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:44AM (#26640341) Homepage

    I've been thinking of ditching Comcast for Verizon (the only two broadband options in Philadelphia) - if Verizon is not on board, then I guess that seals the deal!

    • Re:Good to know. (Score:4, Informative)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:48AM (#26640427)
      No idea if this still holds true, but Verizon was the company that refused to hand over their logs to the RIAA all those years ago. They certainly earned my respect at the time, and they still have my business.
  • by suraj.sun (1348507) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:44AM (#26640353)

    Missing original CNET News article link :

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10151389-93.html [cnet.com]

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:45AM (#26640367)

    Corporate america is creating a legal regime and prosecution system outside the law.

    This has to be stopped.

    • by Xelios (822510)
      It's nothing new, America has been a corporatocracy [wikipedia.org] for some time now. They're not alone of course, but together with the UK they seem to be leading the way.
    • change bad laws (if you can and/or dare).

      meanwhile, IGNORE all bad laws. its your moral right *and* duty.

  • by Daimanta (1140543) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:46AM (#26640397) Journal

    Encrypt everyting. No more tapping, HTTP ad injections and other shit. They have no right to your internet information.

  • Oh wait, they are virtual monopolies.

    Id say its time for freenet, but they that that angle closed due to bandwidth caps.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:47AM (#26640417) Journal
    I now have almost 200gigs of music. There's only so much I can listen. also, when I want "new" or "more" I just bring my drive over to a friend's house and bingo - a year's worth of downloads in what, 5 minutes?

    LAN parties are even better - more productive and a greater selection.

    RS

    • by Sir_Dill (218371) <slashdotNO@SPAMzachula.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:34PM (#26641261) Homepage
      Amen.

      It reminds me of an old saying(not THAT old but old in regards to the internet)

      Never underestimate the bandwidth of a semi-truck full of backup tapes.

      Considering that many of us are running around with 100+ gig pocket drives, downloading (at least for some of us) is mostly a thing of the past. At a local level and even a regional level, a guy in a car with a 500GB drive has more bandwidth than *most* residential and small business internet connections. I don't know about you but the last time I tried to download a multi-gig file it took a few days. Even flat out it would take several hours at least.

      I think RIAA and the like are in for a very very hard uphill battle on this. There are also far reaching effects of this type of relationship. As a previous poster commented;

      "Corporate america is creating a legal regime and prosecution system outside the law."

      Thats exactly what this is. RIAA can't win legally so they make a deal with the ISPs to cut off customers who are file sharing or worse, just enough pressure and cooperation to release customer information that can then be used to "coerce" individuals into "compliance".

      Also, doesn't this put the ISPs into potentially hot water? What happens when one of their subscribers argues that its the ISP's responsibility to prevent sharing and since they failed to protect the copyright on behalf of RIAA, its not the fault of the subscriber? IANAL but it seems to me that this may be more trouble than its worth. I know the ISPs are no angels but really this is like getting into bed with the devil.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Awesome, you'll be the first against the wall.

  • by anticlone (1245294) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:48AM (#26640429)
    Comcast et al are seeking cover to squash p2p to relieve their bandwidth problems. RIAA makes a nice scape goat is things go badly.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:23PM (#26641063) Homepage

      Comcast is seeking to squash P2P to avoid upgrading and maintaining their bandwidth. 90% of their problems is that they have too small backbone pipes going into headends. If they would run a REAL ISP instead of the half ass job they do they would understand how to do it.

      disclaimer: I used to be a Comcast manager, I know the cable-modem system inside and out. It's one reason why I will never use Comcast as an ISP.

  • by hack slash (1064002) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:48AM (#26640443)
    Wondeful, because there's no other crime that even comes close to music piracy.

    Just imagine it, you get arrested and put in a cell with a dozen other people:


    Cell occupant 1: "Hey pale skinny white guy, what you in here for?"
    Cell occupant 2: "I bet he got caught jacking a 7-11"
    Cell occupant 1: "That's what I'm in here for"
    Cell occupant 3: "No shit, that's what I did last week, but I got caught today mugging someone"
    Cell occupant 1: "So what is it boy?"
    You: "I downloaded a Backstreet Boys album without paying for it.."

    *all the other cell occupants slowly back away*
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      You: "I downloaded a Backstreet Boys album without paying for it.."

      *all the other cell occupants slowly back away*

      I'd back away too.

      After all, it's a prison, and the one most likely to be interested in you is the backstreet boys fan.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:11PM (#26640811) Homepage Journal

      ...the group W room. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers! So one of 'em comes up and said "kid, what'r ya in for?"

      So I said "I was arrested for litterin'".

      And they all backed away from me.

      So I said "and creatin' a nuisance" and thay all came up, shook my hand and we had a good old time playin with the pencils...

      Oh shit now Arlo Guthrie is going to sue me for copyright infringement... and creatin' a nuisance!

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:54AM (#26640531) Homepage

    Given that the RIAA/MPAA create music and movies, and that telecoms are bundling TV channels as well as internet services, and the people producing the content for the TV channels are pretty much all members of the RIAA/MPAA or share their interests in protecting their copyrighted works, it's hardly a surprise that ISPs are willing to cooperate. In fact, I'm surprised more ISPs aren't.

    Those ISPs that are purely providing connectivity and don't also have cable/satellite TV services among their offered products may hold out against the RIAA/MPAA a bit longer, but I don't expect that it'll last. The major players will bundle with content producers, and will comply with assisting in copyright enforcement in order to secure the revenue that their TV packages provide.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:53PM (#26641579) Homepage

      Yeah, I always find it surprising that more people aren't concerned about the sort of vertical integration that is involved with a company like Time Warner Cable, and the potential conflicts of interest in providing "good service" for each individual service.

      They own the infrastructure, they run the Voice/TV service provided over that infrastructure, and then they also run the Internet service that provides potential competition to their own Voice and TV services. In addition, they also own some of the channels provided over their own TV service, as well as owning the rights to many TV shows and movies shown on those channels.

      In each case, there must be some kind of temptation to favor their own products over the competing products that they're also providing access to. To be clear, I'm not alleging that they've done anything wrong, but only that there's an inherent ethical problem. For example, let's say Netflix comes up with a plan to partner with ISPs nationwide to provide a service for video-on-demand. They go to negotiate with Time Warner Cable's ISP division to talk about the idea and negotiate a deal. Do you foresee that TWC is going to seriously consider the deal that would diminish their own video-on-demand services? Or that they might partner with Vonage to provide VoIP?

      It's for this sort of reason that I think it may be wise to institute some kind of law that limits vertical integration of ISPs with other services. I've thought for some time that we should probably forbid the people who own the infrastructure (the actual hardware and cable) from providing any service, and require that they provide open access at set fees without any opportunity to negotiate special deals. Since these companies own a monopoly (or duopoly) and represent public infrastructure, they shouldn't be allowed much control over what's sent through their hardware.

  • It seems to me that whether or not anyone agrees with whether or not virtual piracy is right and just, the RIAA and MPAA continue to be about nine years behind current technologies.

    Because there are now newsreaders and bittorrent clients for every platform that support encrypted connections over clever ports, the RIAA and MPAA will not be able to include exactly which files were shared, if any, in any court documents they submit for any case where the defendant dutifully encrypted all of their connections.

    I
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @11:57AM (#26640599) Homepage Journal

    Since we're stuck with ConCast, I'll have to do a lot more P2P if they're going to team with the Rabid Idiot Asshole Industry. I don't share any files the copyright holders don't want shared, but The Station's The Fog will likely be confused by ConCast and the RIAA by a tune by one of their artists by the same name.

    If they try to sue me, I'll have Dave sue THEM for infringing HIS copyright, and I will also sue them for slander.

    This should be fun.

  • The first time my AT&T account gives me shit when I go to pirate bay, I'm going over to Time Warner. And when Time Warner gives me shit, then I will sit around all day and remember the good old days when the internet was open and free and we had a large number of different ISP's to choose from (before the dial-up's were replaced by one DSL company and one cable company).
  • When an ISP gets into the business of content delivery, they're devotion to being the best ISP possible goes out the window. And, unless I'm mistaken, Comcast and AT&T both have their own media delivery services (feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken) so I'm not the least bit surprised that they want to work with the RIAA in this.

    I miss the days when our ISPs were internet service providers...
    • by stinerman (812158)

      Indeed.

      Its called a conflict of interest.

      It'd be as if UPS owned the roads in your area. They're going to charge tolls to the FedEx trucks. And if you're shipping too much in using another carrier, they're going to start throttling your shipments.

      The simple solution is to have the government own the infrastructure and allow companies to sell services over the infrastructure. The companies who sell the services could be called Internet Service Providers or ISPs.

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:02PM (#26640715)

    These ISPs like to complain about the excessive bandwidth used by filesharers. I can only assume that once they start kicking these evil users off the system, my connection speeds will increase to the advertised rates, and soon they will be able to reduce my monthly bill.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jank1887 (815982)
      you're forgetting the exorbitant costs involved with keeping those baddies off the system. They might have to increase your bill. To keep you safe, of course. Oh, and think of the children.
  • Customers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ohio Calvinist (895750) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:08PM (#26640789)
    When will these companies realize who their customers are? It is the subscriber.

    If they'll give my information to a corrupt trade organization whose strategy is suing grandmas, kids dead people and folks without computers, who else would they be willing to sell my personal information to?

    They are either getting some money from the labels to do this to offset the customers who they are going to piss off, or they are counting on being a natural monopoly in certain markets. That or they've sold more broadband at cheap prices to get folks off dial up and realized that they can't turn a profit when you have folks choking down their connection. If Net Neutrality wins the day, and they can't throttle or shape the user's traffic any more, the only recourse companies will have is kicking their "excessive" users off the plan by either invoking the AUP or getting the RIAA to sue them into being a non-customer so they can let the *AA look like assholes instead of the ISP.
  • by Yurka (468420) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:14PM (#26640885) Homepage

    Oh great. Another batch of "that does it, I am ditching Comcast". Note also that they didn't even have to do anything yet, just put out a press release, and the troublemakers (sharers in this case) are busy playing the Crack Suicide Squad - which is exactly what's required from the point of view of the ISPs. Just get them off your own lawn, and report progress to RIAA. There's always enough lemmings (who don't know and don't care) to pay the bills.

    Now, if the comments were running to the side of "that does it, I'm getting Comcast accounts for everyone and the dog and sharing like it's 1999", that would make more sense as a response. Otherwise, get used to the periodical pronouncements - they don't cost anything and are having at least some effect.

  • by indytx (825419) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:19PM (#26640989)
    This too shall pass. A couple of observations. First, P2P accounts for between one-third and four-fifths of internet traffic, depending on the entities collecting the data and the regions from where the data is collected. Either way, it seems like a lot. Second, internet usage continues to grow. People love YouTube, just wait until the quality improves. How many people are watching Netflix's Watch Now as a result of if being available on so many systems? Third, the economy will prevent many, if not most, ISPs from adding additional bandwidth. Thus, in order to keep up with increased legitimate demand without adding more capacity, it makes since that ISPs would want to reduce demand from file sharing. Simple, really.
    • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:59PM (#26641657)

      If they were willing to get off of their behinds simply because of bandwidth problems, then why don't they shut down or at least throttle spambots? I've seen similar numbers to yours for spam bandwidth consumption.

      With spambots all it would take is a throttle and an email and automated phone call to the customer telling them that their computer is infected and that they need to get it checked out to restore full service.

  • by k1e0x (1040314) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @12:30PM (#26641191) Homepage

    That's it. I'm so sick of these companies I'm going to get ClearWire, I don't care if it's slower at least it's independent and not in bed with the Government/RIAA.

    Is there a way to force a City to provide more than one telco and cable provider? It's got to be possible, how is this done, or what is the best way to go about changing this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by binarylarry (1338699)

      Have lots of money.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by k1e0x (1040314)

        To what? buy off the politicians? lol

        I can't believe it would be absolutely *impossible* for them to allow another company to go through the trouble of running their own copper to residents homes. If they did that I'm sure we would see a quick about face in the customer service departments of these companies.

        That's the dammed problem.. You get DSL or Cable, one choice or the other and either ones service only needs to be as good as the other guys crappy service.. why can't we have 2 choices each? Maybe allo

  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @03:26PM (#26643879)

    Questions and answers for just plain folks:

    Want to download stuff with far less risk? Get a usenet account from a premium provider. Tunnel past your ISP. Download what you want. Enjoy.

    Want to know what's there? Hit binsearch.info and see. Maybe you'll find what you need and be able to obtain it easily.

    Want to help your ISPs avoid bandwidth problems? Download all you can from their usenet servers.

    Want to risk all sorts of crappy involvement with the RIAA, the legal system, and potentially lose your internet connection? Just install any old p2p software and have at it.

    Questions and answers for ISPs:

    Want to help your business avoid bandwidth problems? Make sure you do a good job of running in-house usenet servers.

    Want to screw yourself and your customers, impress technically unsophisticated observers with your faux commitment to the rule of law, and make everyone's life more difficult? Outsource or drop all usenet service and cooperate with the RIAA.

    Question for Slashdot:

    Why, in the lists above, is the last option the one most often exercised?

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