Preview of Verizon's version of America's "six strikes" copyright enforcement scheme

America's largest ISPs took the chickenshit step of agreeing to voluntarily police copyright on behalf of the movie studios and record labels, with a "six strikes" system that involves a series of ever-more-dire warnings and punishments for unsubstantiated copyright complaints from Big Content. Here's a preview of the final stage of the punishment regime at Verizon:

“Redirect your browser to a special web page where you will be given several options. You can: Agree to an immediate temporary (2 or 3 day) reduction in the speed of your Internet access service to 256kbps (a little faster than typical dial-up speed); Agree to the same temporary (2 or 3 day) speed reduction but delay it for a period of 14 days; or Ask for a review of the validity of your alerts by the American Arbitration Association.”

Verizon’s “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Measures Unveiled [Torrentfreak]


  1. If these ISPs didn’t basically have regional monopolies, they’d never be able to treat their customers worse than dirt.

  2. 1. Make a movie
    2. Open new broadband internet company
    3. Start regular accusations that customers of competitor broadband internet company are downloading the movie we made
    4. Profit

  3. Well, goddamn it. Verizon is the only internet provider I can use, since the others in my area refuse to acknowledge that a) my house exists or b) that I exist.

    1. Might I suggest you contact your AG or public service commission and ask why monopoly providers are allowed to make their own laws and enforce them circumventing established law.

  4. Oh Gosh! The American Arbitration Association! Will they let me pet the kangaroos while I wait for my miscarriage of justice if I choose that one?

    1. They might, just so they can justify the $35 fee to challenge the findings of a secret ip recording system.

    2. I was just going to point that out. Who pays the arbitration people? Verizon? Sure, that will be fair. 

      1. AAA is paid by CCI which is funding 50-50 by the**AA’s and the ISPs.
        So your paying to subsidize corporate law, and you have to pay a $35 fee to challenge anything they allege using technology vetted as being perfect in a laboratory setting by a tech “firm” who at one point was lobbying for the RIAA and stands to be back on the payroll providing “oversight” of this system in the long term.

  5. Which option involves having a jury trial in an unbiased legal court to actually determine if copyright infringement has occurred rather than simply accepting the accusation of a copyright holder as true?

    1. Juries are for regular law, not corporate law.

      They capture an IP address, they forward a notice.  With the magic of Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policies (which hey many providers recently updated) you are suddenly 100% responsible for any actions that happen on your account.
      So you have corporations with government granted/funded monopolies who get to make their own laws.  Seems perfectly fine and not like it needs antitrust investigations and should be used to break the monopolies hold on crap internet access.

  6. So I’m reading this and I get to a punishment of 256KBPS and I do a double take. That’s an average speed some nights for us, especially on weekends. We are in a semi-rural area, yet only 17 miles from the state university, one county over.  We pay for the highest speed available in our area 6MPPS, but have never gotten more than 3MBPS ever.  But every day at 3pm the speed drops to well under 1 MBPS and during peak evening hours routinely get 200-300KBPS.  SO my question is, I’m already being punishment, can this count towards “time served”?

    1. I’m one of those cheapskates who never goes for the “average speed” plan.I have verion fios– but it’s 4-5 Mbs down, 4-6 Mbs up, at least according to speadtest. It’s fast enough for most things, though 1080p can’t stream all that well.

      The reason I upgraded was “Apple”– which presupposes that you can download hundreds of megabytes without batting an eye. Lots of services presuppose fast internet.

      200-300kbs– ick. That’s all but unusable, especially for a family.

    2. You pay for *up to* 6mbps, but the ISP has no obligation to actually give it to you.

      Kinda like walking into a coffee shop, paying for a venti, and getting a shotglass full of lukewarm spit in the venti cup. But hey, they only promised you a 20 oz cup, not that they’d fill it with 20 oz of delicious beverage.

  7. There’s another option, or at least there should be: Quit my contract with that company and look for a different ISP.

    1. As the major ISPs have successfully carved the country and no longer compete in certain areas, this is not a viable option.

      1.  Yes it is, at least in San Francisco. I can choose Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Astound (which I use), and I’m sure there are others as well.

        1. I forget which ones are doing the strikes policy too… most of the ones you just listed. Astound is the one I don’t think is going to do it.

          Where I live, northern san diego county there is comcast.

          If I move a mile south I can get time warner instead, but not comcast there.

        2. Which one of those isn’t participating in this corporate law scam? I’m guessing Astound.
          SF is not the rest of the country, and while you have choice in many areas there is no choice. There are entire areas that are by law only serviced by 1 carrier.

  8. I’m with comcast, and they already throttle downloads from places they don’t like (and block access to Pirate Bay, at least for idiots who can’t figure out how else to get there). I think it’s time to say fuck these fucking fucks and sign up with a VPN.

      1. This has been a concern of mine as well. I tried looking up to set up a VPN and I’m a bit intimidated.

  9. How does this not jeopardize the ISPs’ common carrier status and expose them to liability for any copyright violation that occurs on their networks? The RIAA/MPAA stand to gain a lot more by going after the providers’ deep pockets than the pittances extractable from end users too poor or cheap to get their entertainment media in “legitimate” ways.

    1. Because the White House and the Copyright Czar signed off on this travesty.
      The RIAA/MPAA actually hold no copyrights, they are just lobbyist groups.
      Many of the large ISPs are just different corporate arms of the same thing, so suing themselves is not useful.

      But this will let them have a record to show a judge that a secret system claims they did something wrong 6 times before we sued them so give us our $150,000.
      Its high time there was antitrust investigations, and these monopolies being shattered.  If they can afford to force a 3rd parties desires onto customers, they obviously need competition.

    2. Too poor, too cheap, or just too damn savvy to pay a dime for some unoriginal remake, 3D reboot, thoughtless adaptation or horrid sequel that doesn’t satisfy. 

      Maybe some good can still come of this.  Perhaps these draconian “laws” will finally force Hollywood to stop scapegoating piracy for falling revenues and serve to rub their noses in their own shit-content stains. 

  10. I know I’m being selfish here, but this six strikes is not a problem for me.  I stopped paying for new music and movies years ago.  And I recently stopped downloading it for free as well, because there’s just no point now that I’ve obtained anything I actually want.  I’ve deleted virtually all content produced after the early 2000’s because it’s ALL FUCKING GARBAGE. 

    And if the cow jumps over the moon, the dish runs away with the spoon, and big content actually shits out something worth keeping someday, then I still have the option of either buying a copy, or generating mp4s of movies from a redbox rental and mp3s from youtube – depending on its entertainment value.

    1. Why evaluate laws on justice-related grounds when you can evaluate them entirely in light of your self interest(and an amusingly naive assumption that the system will actually work, and won’t end up flagging you)?

  11. I live in an apartment with three other adults in a city. We have wi-fi. We have a constant stream of guests. My name is on the bill. There is no fucking way I can police dozens of people, but as I said, my name is on the god damn bill. I can’t be without internet. My job demands it, my sanity demands it, and my social life demands it. I don’t have any need to pirate, but I can’t risk someone else pirating and getting me cut off or some stupid algorithmic spying on my internet connection and deciding that it didn’t like the name of a legal download. This “six strikes” shit pisses me off beyond all words.

    Thankfully, I live on the Cambridge side of Boston. Boston, being about as big of a nerd nirvana as one can hope for, has a grand total of two, occasionally 3, viable ISPs. We have Verizon, Comcast, and sweet beloved RCN. RCN offers the juice at a reasonable speed, at a reasonable cost, and has not signed on to this bull shit.

    Many other people are not so lucky as to actually have an option. For you my friends, get a VPN. We might look back on this as a minor blessing. VPN net code is going to get better and beefier because of this crap.

    1.  Your ISP will tell you to not share your connection with anyone. They don;t care who is at fault. been there.

  12. I would encourage everyone to at least temporarily cancel service upon  receipt of such a  notice.  If you have no local alternative but can last a month without service (it will be good for you!) , you’ll get a 6 month discounted service when you re-up.  Who knows…. perhaps your strike tally will be reset as well.

  13. I wonder has Ethical Fan has posted “his” shit here yet. I found out who “he really is. Mark My word Ethical Fan, You’re corporate shill or a phony You’re gonna be exposed for all misinformation.

  14. Can someone please explain to me why ISPs (like all other technology historically) will not become so common an ubiquitous that suddenly ANYONE can start their own ISP and thus render the monopolistic dealings of the Verizons of the world obsolete?

    For instance, I use Astound, which is a small-ish company that serves about 325k people along the West Coast. They do not practice any of this shady crap. How difficult would it be to start another one? Probably not very difficult. Unless the US govt passes laws that REQUIRE ALL ISPs to do this kind of stuff, who cares if Verizon does it? There will instantly be a demand for a new ISP and one will surely start because it should (if internet follows trends of all technology) get cheaper and cheaper and more accessible to start an ISP.

    Can someone tell me why this is not the case? It’s an argument I rarely see presented.

    1.  You have a small provider. Once the big providers, Comcast, Verizon and Suddenlink all sign on to the program, the little ones will fall into line as well.

      1.  I don’t understand? What “program?” This is a voluntary thing that ISPs are doing. Am I missing something? Do ISPs face prosecution if they don’t sign on? I’m still not getting it.

        1.  According to the discussion I had with Suddenlink, they are required to do this. They lied. Suddenlink and Verizon et al, willingly signed onto this Media Industry program. You can read more here:

           .. Oh and ignore the part where you can appeal the red flag. I’m pretty legal and technically savvy. I demanded and received ‘proof of our transgression’… A screen shot showing what and when we supposedly pirated. No way to trace it or disprove it. After arguing with their management, I was told I could contest it, but if I did, there’s always the possibility that the Media Company would chose to prosecute me and the fines could be substantial, like the lady that uploaded 3 songs to a Bit Torrent and is now fighting a several million dollar judgement.

          So why are they bothering with this? Why are they not standing up for their customers? If I had to guess, it’s because the Media Corps can withhold movies and music from their cable franchises. What would Comcast be without Disney etc.

          1.  That is totally F!*%ed. But again, in the long term, unless there is legislation requiring this sort of draconian shit, I don’t see how proliferation of independent ISPs won’t render this whole thing a moot point in another decade, and this is an opinion I’ve never seen discussed. Maybe Cory Doctorow could enlighten us here?

          2.  yes it is f*cked. But it isn’t new. My experience was 1 1/2 years ago and after digging, I found others that had had their service turned off a year or so before.

            I’m fascinated that any business will play policeman for another company without verification and proof of charges. I know for example if your auto insurer cancelled your policy because a neighbor said you were say making bombs, they certainly would not be allowed to cancel your policy without proof.

            I was gob-smacked when it happened to me and nobody in my family pirated anything. Welcome to 1984.

          3. And this is why it *used* to be illegal to own certain combinations of businesses in the same geographic region.

          4.  Exactly. We’ve allowed corporations to become monopolies…Not only in ISPs, but in Medical Coverage, News Media and many other sectors…And we allow them to pretend there is real competition. Seriously, is there any real competition in say cellphones? Go figure.

    2. The issue is that the physical cabling (and sometimes wireless towers) that enables Internet access is owned by a small number of (local, regional, bigger) monopolies and is very expensive to duplicate.Small ISPs pay to use the infrastructure owned by larger ones and are generally at their mercy if and when the larger ISP decides to impose things like this in their contracts. To create a truly independent small ISP requires vast amounts of capital to spend on physical infrastructure, the cost of which often varies based on your lobbying power (cheaper right-of-way, government subsidies, etc. that the larger players have benefited from).

      There have already been instances of infrastructure owners imposing things like this (ant-bittorrent traffic shaping, if I recall correctly) on their small ISP clients. Small ISPs generally have a bit more bargaining power than an individual subscriber, but not much more, and they generally don’t hold out long.

  15. Boy was I surprised when Suddenlink turned off my internet during the trading day because someone downloaded a copy of some crappy teen movie that you can buy used for $5 on Amazon. In retrospect, I’m guessing it was one of my son’s friends during a sleep-over… We don’t pirate anything, but there is no way to dispute the claim. All a big company has to do is flag your account. And Suddenlink only allows 2 ‘red flags’. The 3rd time they disconnect your service.

  16. Is it “chickenshit step” or is it massive corporate bribery/business deal by Big Hollywood?  Or is it that they’re all owned by the same huge company in the end?  I can’t imagine the ISPs would go for this unless it was somehow very much in their own interests.

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