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What a 'Six Strikes' Copyright Notice Looks Like 273

The new Copyright Alert System, a.k.a. the 'Six Strikes' policy, went into effect on Monday. Comcast and Verizon activated it today. Ars Technica asked them and other participating ISPs to see the copyright alerts that will be sent to customers who have been identified as infringing. Comcast was the only one to grant their request, saying that a "small number" of the alerts have already been sent out. The alerts will be served to users in the form of in-browser popups. They explain what triggered the alert and ask the user to sign in and confirm they received the alert. (Not admitting guilt, but at least closing off the legal defense of "I didn't know.") The article points out that the alerts also reference an email sent to the Comcast email address associated with the account, something many users not be aware of. The first two notices are just notices. Alert #5 indicates a "Mitigation Measure" is about to be applied, and that users will be required to call Comcast's Security Assurance group and to be lectured on copyright infringement. The article outlines some of the CAS's failings, such as being unable to detect infringement through a VPN, and disregarding fair use. Comcast said, "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 also assures subscribers that their privacy is being protected, but obvious that's only to a point. According to TorrentFreak, "Comcast can be asked to hand over IP-addresses of persistent infringers, and the ISP acknowledges that copyright holders can then obtain a subpoena to reveal the personal details of the account holder for legal action."
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What a 'Six Strikes' Copyright Notice Looks Like

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  • "In-browser popups?" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @03:24AM (#43031961) Homepage

    "In-browser popups?" On what pages? Is Comcast tampering with web pages not their own to insert messages? Do they do MITM attacks on secure pages to break in there?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @03:32AM (#43031993)

    There is *NOTHING* that can be done now about this. It is the law of the land, plain and simple. And it will probably spread across the globe.

  • SOPA vs 6 Strikes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @03:43AM (#43032031)
    The outrage that defeated SOPA is missing. Is it because the harm isn't as clear, big companies like google aren't stepping into the fray, or the association with "pirates" is too toxic? Or is it d) all of the above?
  • by wolverine2k ( 2620741 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:02AM (#43032111)
    Firstly, I think popups are generally disabled by people who know how to use torrents. And secondly, they require the popup to be signed so you cannot say "I didn't know" further down the line. Now what happens if you see the popup and just close it (CTRL+W or CTRL+F4)? Does it count as seen? Or better still, pull the popup window to a side and keep doing what you are doing. And shutdown after you are done. Now does that count? And what if I challenge the ISP to show me proof for the notice. Will they do it or just ignore me? If they ignore me, I can ignore them and so the story can go...
  • Re:SOPA vs 6 Strikes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThatsNotFunny ( 775189 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:06AM (#43032117)
    Perhaps it's because it's the ISPs making the rules, instead of the government.
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:10AM (#43032133)

    It is amusing to see comcast and others think just cause everyone else is doing it or because they have "industry" documents like RFC 6108 this somehow insulates them from "stupid".

    Injecting shit into http is HARMFUL no matter what BS you can get accepted by throwing your largess around and sponsoring IETF meetings. You simply cannot know a-priori what side effects of injecting javascript crap into HTTP transactions are. In case you have been living under a rock for the past decade sadly everyones using HTTP for transport these days.

    As I type no doubt the phishers are working overtime on fake popups emulating comcasts piracy notifications.

    I hope sleeping with the MPAA is worth bad press, legal exposure and pissing off your paying customers.

  • No details offered? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd659 ( 2730387 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:12AM (#43032141)
    From the TFA, the message from Comcast reads:

    "As part of the Copyright Alerts System operated by the Center for Copyright Information, a copyright owner has sent Comcast a notice claiming your Internet service from Comcast was used to copy or share a movie, television program or song improperly...."

    There are absolutely no details about who the copyright owner is, what specific content was infringed, when the alleged infringement was made, what details identifies MY "Internet service", etc.

    A more legally correct wording could state "Someone who claims to be the copyright owner, claims that the copyright was infringed from the specific IP which we, Comcast, claim to be belonging to your account at the claimed time of the infringement." But that would be just too many "claims"!

  • by naff89 ( 716141 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:16AM (#43032153)
    Corporations have a right to run their businesses however they want. The problem here is that, by all agreeing to restrict the rights of their customers in the same way, the corporations are colluding with one another to prevent those customers from simply switching to a competitor.
  • by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Thursday February 28, 2013 @04:21AM (#43032173) Homepage

    There is *NOTHING* that can be done now about this. It is the law of the land, plain and simple.

    As I understand, it's a policy, shared by several ISPs -- not a law. Are you saying that there's actual government laws behind this too?

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @07:00AM (#43032675) Journal

    Either way it would be fun if everyone who gets one of these ( and has not infringed; dont worry it will happen) calls their local prosecuters office and demands their ISP be charged with uttering. Either they are altering a document you understand to be from another party or they are knowing sending an DNS reply that is untrue. Either way it might be possible to convince a court that it fits the definition of uttering. That might have implications for all those wifi registration systems too.

  • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @07:58AM (#43032913)

    I am a Time Warner customer, and I signed up during their beta testing roll out back in 1995. I still have my "signup packet" here sitting on the same shelf for these last 18 years, and this is the first time I've touched it in those 18 years.

    There is absolutely no mention of an account or an email address with them.

    I can only assume an email address would have been assigned to me, but I have no idea how to sign in to it. It looks like they now maintain a customer portal as well, but again I have no idea how to sign in to it.

    While I don't use bit torrent these days at all nor download commercial music or movies, for SOME silly reason I have little faith this new system will have zero false positives despite the lack of infringing activity.
    My online video watching is limited to youtube blip and twitch, primarily gaming videos (completely created by those that post them I should add) and whatever random link clicking youtube may take me to... At least until this last weekend.

    I noticed over the weekend my public IP changed, and ever since then my service has been running slow as shit.
    20+% packet loss, speeds under 1 megabit (for 10mbit down service), it takes a good 30 minutes to buffer a 10 minute youtube video, and for the first time ever my network meter app is showing a line reporting "Blacklisted IP ratio 5/72"

    I can't help but wonder if the two are related, and what sort of situation I might be/get stuck in.

    I use Firefox with adblock and noscript with a fairly tight whitelist. They give no details about what "popup" means but the traditional popup I will never see. At least I am not seeing any time warner related URLs under the noscript menu.

    I'm now thinking about trying out one of these many VPN services just to see what happens to my connection speeds. The first couple I checked have a free trial period (Either most do or I just got very lucky)

    Since the ISPs don't seem to have any issue throwing around accusations without proof, I won't feel so bad having not collected more proof when calling them up complaining about the results with my own assumed accusations.

    Perhaps if their phone support techs get enough comments about it, that count will get passed up to someone that matters. Doubtful, but you never know. Maybe I'll get lucky and be one of the calls monitored by a manager.
    I've never been one to yell or get angry at the poor tech answering the phone, but have no issue bringing up questions they are likely sick of hearing, nor mind playing dumb when they treat me as dumb first.

    "Yes sir I know, but we have to follow the trouble shooting guide. Now reboot your computer again, and reboot the cable modem again, I'll wait here..."

    "You know I've heard about this new internet monitoring spying thing the US is doing everywhere.. You think it's like in the movies where hearing breathing in the phone would cause my connection to have these problems? I bet that would cause a lot of problems, so many connections to keep up with. Are you absolutely sure that isn't the problem? It still sounds like it to me."

  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:17AM (#43033795) Homepage

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    First: the text says "Authors". Not publishers, not employers of authors, not people to whom the author sold "rights", not descendents of authors.

    Second: Congress has the power to secure this exclusive right, not a mandate to do so.

    Third: Congress has the power to secure this exclusive right only for a limited time.

    Fourth: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press". Given that, the "exclusive Right" mentioned in Article I Section 8 cannot be the exclusive right to speak, perform, or publish a piece; only the exclusive right to sell it. Laws against non-commercial sharing and use are a violation of the First Amendment.

  • by fredprado ( 2569351 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @10:32AM (#43033955)
    There is no relation at all between this agreement and DCMA. DCMA excludes the ISPs of any responsibility and never applied to the end users. This is a pure commercial agreement, it is not designed to comply or help to comply with any law.

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