Coming to America: Six copyright accusations, lose your Internet

Hey, America, no need to feel left out! You're soon to join Britain, France and New Zealand in having a sneaky program to spy on your Internet connection and cut you off on the basis of unproven accusations of copyright infringement. The six-strikes rule comes from the major carriers, the studios and labels, and will not directly disconnect you -- instead, the ISPs themselves will do it. This is what we call a distinction without a difference.


  1. Does that mean you can switch ISPs once you (or someone who has access to your wireless) gets six strikes, and start all over again?

    1. Where I live my options are one specific cable company or dial-up. This clusterf**k would cut me off from Internet access at home.

      1. Same boat here. There is one provider of internet in my small rural town. Prices are high, service is slow but if they cut you off, the ‘net is no go.

  2. The ISPs don’t actually spy on your connection; they act when someone complains about alleged infringement. This is an important point, and one that is often missed.

    1. This is true, but possibly even worse since they’re using the same automated tech that repeatedly files the bogus blanket takedown notices on places like YouTube. Any torrent with ‘Numbers’ in the name? Must be an ep of the TV show. And the third party setup makes it much easier for each to disavow blame.

    2. Are you sure? It isn’t just about the packets but who you make contact with. If you torrent at all you could end up on an ISP supplied watch list sent to the RIAA and MPAA. What about well known filelockers? Considering Google now filters out filelockers and the blogs that link to them from search results. An example:

      “In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at”

      I’m just wondering, since the ISPs are bending over so gratefully to kiss the copyright owners” asses, how far does the cooperation go? They know where you go; they know where you have been. Spend too much time or move just so many megabytes from the wrong place and an algorithm flags you as a likely problem. It isn’t proof of anything, just like a government watch list isn’t, but it still flags you for further perusal.

    3. Meet the secret police monitoring the interwebs for you joining a BT swarm.
      This one is very telling about how little they actually understand.

      Experts have admitted in other court cases that the information gathered by this firm can NOT identify the infringer, only the person who pays for the connection.
      To tie a neat little bow around this corporation lawmaking, made with the blessing of the White House and their out of touch copyright czar, the terms of service claim your 100% responsible.
      A secret system, where you have to pay to challenge them and only are allowed a handful of responses.  The arbitrator hired by CCI (run by a PR Agent for the RIAA) will of course be completely impartial and consider the real laws and not the pretend laws of corporations.

      AT&T have said if you get enough they will block you accessing certain websites until you go to some webpage to click some buttons.
      Net Neutrality be damned, the law be damned, we are corporations we can make law and force it on you over the pipes your taxes paid to build.
      CCI wanted to cut people back to dialup speeds and other punitive actions all based on a company using technology never vetted that claims we saw YOUR IP address in a torrent swarm your guilty.
      There is nothing like removing the legal system from the equation and letting them shortcut to the punishment phase on evidence that would NEVER stand up in court.
      Think of them as the ultimate copyright troll.  They don’t even have to spend $350 to file a case to shake you down… they can just screw your connection.

      One wonders if much like the bandwidth caps business class accounts will be immune to this silly BS.  Is this the ultimate upsell to more expensive contracts?
      Cause you can only claim unsecured wifi 1 time ever, and we all know wifi is TOTALLY secure if someone is determined enough to break it.

      There is no DPI, just an automated system sitting in popular torrent swarms gathering IP addresses.  Of course no one has ever gotten to see if the software is the source of the file to begin with or if it helps make the infringement worse.
      But the public isn’t allowed to know how it works, they just have to accept what the corporate overlords dictate is now the law in the country.

  3. This is why we really need choice when it comes to ISPs. I’m fortunate to have an option that doesn’t support six strikes, but most people don’t. 

    How can you vote with your wallet if you don’t get a vote to begin with?

  4. What’s the expiration on these? Is it lifetime? Will my internet be shut off 30 years from now for logging into the Oasis?

    1.  And, since the accusations are through the private censorship aggregation organization “Copyright Alert System (CAS)”, will they follow you around from ISP to ISP?

      Given that there is no cost to the accusers for false accusations, but rather that cost is borne soley by the accused who have to pay $35 per false accusation to defend themselves, the false positive rate pretty much guarantees that this system is untenable in the long term, with thousands to millions of people all eventually receiving 6 strikes.

  5. So this isn’t even a government entity, just a bunch of ISPs going rogue. Time to file a lawsuit to stop this.

    1. Or maybe file a complaint with the State AG for antitrust violations, or with public service commissions.
      You see the memorandum of understanding these idiots all signed have an escape clause built in…. if you sue them they can bail.
      But I think we should make it hurt more, by forcing the monopoly control they have in many areas and force the lines open to more providers.  Hurt the bottom line and make them bleed.

  6. When it comes to the $35 appeal fee, “We are, I think, going after Joe Consumer” sounds suspiciously like “We’ve developed a new type of revenue stream”.

  7. “The six-strikes rule comes from the major carriers, the studios and labels, and will not directly disconnect you — instead, the ISPs themselves will do it.”

    Yes, it is a disingenuous claim. Reminds me of the Inquisition–litterally. The Catholic church didn’t execute anyone, they just accused people, tortured them into confessions and then handed them over to the state for execution–as if that absolved the Church of their deaths. Likewise the big content accusers, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) “torturers” (who control the limited “defenses” that do not include fair use and which all cost money to lodge), and the ISP “executioners” will use their collusion as a diffusion of responsibility, all claiming that they are just doing one part of the process.

    As Philip Zimbardo has pointed out, one of the ways that evil arises is through lack of transparency and through the diffusion of responsibility which allows bad things to happen to individuals without anyone being held accountable. This new government negotiated, collusive censorship regime is just that. And it should be sued out of existence on multiple basis, including anti-trust provisions. There is no reason why **competitors** should all be allowed to collude in this clearly anti-consumer fashion to the detriment of consumers.

  8. It’s not like this is new, the ones who were already doing it have just codified their response to the DMCA’s they get.  When i was a tech monkey for Cox, 5 years ago, they would cut peoples internet, redirect them to a page telling them to call the security department.
    I got 2 myself from comcast, before i got a vpn.   They said at three they start grounding you, for varying lengths of time, and eventually would cut you off entirely. As best i could tell at cox, they stayed on your record forever with that account.  new account at a new address, or new account in a new name would have been enough to get around them, so long as you knew when to keep your mouth shut.
    Get a vpn.  Get a proxy. Don’t be a low hanging fruit.

  9. So, if I make a video for Youtube and add a well known song as music for that video, I get a message from youtube about copyright infringement.  Does that count as one of my 6 infringements?  Youtube still keeps my video up, it is just not available to be watched on mobile phones.

  10. So, if you accuse your ISP of infringement six times, it has to shut itself down? This could be amusing.

    1. We should all just do this, early and often, until the powers that be realize that this is not a viable solution for anyone.

    2. Let’s see, if I make a post on FOX and use an unattributed copyrighted quote which would not be fair use and then point it out to the party that I quoted and they send a take down notice it counts?  Repeat six times and Fox is off of the web? Hmmmm

    1. I’m a commercial photographer. Currently if a client rips off my work I have to sue them. Under these regulations I only have to threaten to put a strike on their record for copyright infringement. 

      The protocol is intended to punish file sharers and protect movie and music distributors. Will there be language to prevent artists from invoking the same protections and punishments against corporate theivery?

      1. You are assuming that a prole like you would be allowed to lodge complaints. I don’t think you will get to do that, but rather accusations are reserved for well established and well-funded members of the copyright cartel.

    2. Absolutely. There needs to be some symmetry, some cost for false accusations, otherwise there is zero incentive to reduce the false positives rate.

    1. So they can show a “pattern” of being a copyright infringer or someone assisting in copyright infringement by not following the law of the Terms of Service of the ISP.

  11. People will start to use Tor for torrents. Some people think that you’re not supposed to, but I think that it would 1. create more nodes, 2. make using tor less suspisious : “I’m not organizing a revolution, I’m just downloading from the evil american empire ! haha.”

  12. In the “No Chance In Hell, But I Wish…” department…

    On Big Content’s part, you make six false accusations for a particular movie or song or episode of a TV show that you own, that piece of media instantly enters the public domain.

    And if you make a SINGLE false accusation for a movie, song, or episode of a TV show you DON’T own… well, then you the person you accused gets to choose one piece of media of equal or lesser duration that you DO own to enter the public domain.

    A fine would just be a drop in the coffers of the government that probably spent nearly as much to drag out, and the company will make back instantly. Putting something in the public domain helps everybody… AND, the company still has the right to sell that media all they want.

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