Let The Games Begin – How Many Will The New “6 Strikes Rule” Chase Away?

privacy3Earlier this week, one of my neighbors asked if I would look at something for him. Though he didn’t know what exactly I did on the internet, he was confident I could help him. He took me to his computer and logged in to his email account and opened an email very similar to the one below. I was horrified.

I searched on the internet and found this sample below, in an article about the new “6 Strikes Rules” as most are calling it, but the real name is “The Copyright Alert System.” The letter he received was just the first in a string of alerts and “mitigating measures” that Verizon could be sending him if his son doesn’t stop downloading copyrighted material. Here’s a sample of the letter he received:

From: Copyright Notification <notification@copyright.verizon.net>
Date: Thu, Oct 25, 2012
Subject: Notice of Claim of Copyright Infringement
To:

Dear Verizon Online Customer:

We are writing to advise you that Verizon recently received a notification from a copyright owner of a possible copyright violation that appears to involve your Verizon Online account (the “Complaint”). The work(s) identified by the copyright owner in its Complaint are listed below.

We are contacting you because our records indicate that the Internet protocol (IP) address provided to us by the copyright owner was assigned to your service on the date and time identified by the copyright owner. While this activity may have occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, or perhaps by a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, as the primary account holder, you are legally responsible for all activity originating from your account.

Copyright work(s) identified in the Complaint:

Copyright infringement level: 1
Notice ID:

Title: Game of Thrones

Protocol: BitTorrent
IP Address:
DNS:
File Name: Game of Thrones S02E09 HDTV x264-ASAP[ettv]
File Size: 388381214
Timestamp: 10-25-201201:58:14 UTC

Copyright infringement is a serious matter that violates U.S. copyright law and subjects infringers to criminal and civil liability. It also violates our Acceptable Use Policy(http://www2.verizon.net/policies/acceptable_use.asp) and Terms of Service (http://www2.verizon.net/policies/tos.asp). If you, or someone using your Internet connection, are engaged in the conduct alleged by the copyright owner, we urge you to stop (and ensure that anyone else who might have access to your Internet connection also stops).

Protecting Your Privacy: The copyright owner has not asked Verizon to identify you, and Verizon will NOT provide your identity without a lawful subpoena or other lawful process. However, if the copyright owner does issue a lawful subpoena or other lawful process that seeks information about your identity or account, Verizon will be legally required to provide the requested information to the copyright owner.

If you have questions regarding this notice or would like to view Frequently Asked Questions about copyrights and piracy please visit us at www.verizon.net/copyrightfaq.

We appreciate your cooperation on this matter.

Sincerely,

Verizon Online

The 5 participating Internet Providers are Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, and Cablevision. Here’s how it works:

  • The first 2 warnings are via email, and seem to be pretty harsh warnings.
  • The next warnings will require you to review some material via redirection when you log on.
  • Mitigating measures can be anything from slowing your connection speed temporarily, to calling them to reestablish connection. 

That’s just the basics of the CAS program, but I would advise anyone that is using one of these ISPs to get a good VPN, they are watching you if you don’t use one. On more thing of note is that the warning shows that he was downloading via a bit torrent client. Even using a VPN, seeding will announce your location, so it’s better to participate in a file sharing community, like Usenet. 

Personally, I will change my ISP, and I have already found a good VPN, PureVPN, via a review website here: http://vpnreviewz.com. Until I saw this notice though, I was a bit-torrent addict. I am always downloading something. So I will probably move to Usenet, they have a lot of great stuff, and it isn’t as complex as it used to be…I’ll have more on that in my next post…