Hope you downloaded enough episodes of Game of Thrones Sunday night to last you the rest of your life; starting this week, the five major internet service providers (AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable) have free rein to harass you with notices, block you from visiting certain websites, and even slow down your Internet speed if you are found (or suspected) to participate in illegal downloading.
The arrangement comes with the implementation of the U.S.'s nationwide Copyright Alert System, first proposed in 2011. Think of it as D.A.R.E. for illegal files.
Here's how it works:
Content owners like the RIAA (for music) and MPAA (for movies) will monitor peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing sites like BitTorrent for their own content. Once these content owners notice a copy of, say, Bridesmaids available for illegal download, the owner will collect the IP addresses of users sharing the file (you) and tattle on you to your internet service provider.
Your service provider (ahem, Time Warner), will then issue an alert to you to let you know they know you're in violation of copyright laws. They will repeat this alert process up to six times as you are repeatedly flagged for violations because you love illegal downloads.
The alerts will start as innocuous little messages (Good morning! Did you know that you can purchase Bridesmaids legally via iTunes?) and grow increasingly severe as you are repeatedly flagged for infractions. By the time the fifth and six alerts roll around, at least one service provider has vowed to reduce your connection speed to something just a little faster than dial-up as punishment. It will be like you are watching your pirated Downton Abbey in 1921, because the service will be so slow.
(Most service providers have already had some sort of illegal download user-alert system in place for years; the difference is that now their efforts are being marketed as a coordinated anti-piracy campaign and receiving a lot of publicity.)
Am I going to get arrested?
No, probably not. The Center for Copyright Information, which runs the CAS, says that no personal information, including the identity of the subscriber, will be shared with the content owners. However, according to documents obtained by TorrentFreak, service providers will share personal information if "required to do so by law"; i.e. the content owners, having decided to pursue litigation against offenders, ask the court for a subpoena. At the moment, though, this program seems designed more to scare people than sue people.
Is my internet going to get cut off forever?
So what exactly is the alert process?
The six-step alert process will vary (widely) between providers, but the general format is a three-tiered notification system. The first couple times you're flagged for file sharing, your provider will provide you with a little notice informing you that some illegal activity has been detected on your Internet connection, and did you know that there are legal ways to acquire your favorite movies and TV shows? (Obviously. That's why you were acquiring them illegally in the first place.) This phase of the alert is mostly a formality, designed to scare away the very young and/or animals.
Next comes "acknowledgement." After two warnings, Verizon will redirect you to a website where you'll have to acknowledge receiving the alerts and watch a brief video about copyright infringement. After four warnings, Time Warner Cable will lock down your browser until you call a number and agree to stop downloading files illegally.
The final level is the most serious: around the fifth or sixth warning, providers have the option to temporaril
The final level is the most serious: around the fifth or sixth warning, providers have the option to temporarily (for two or three days) slow your internet speed down to a snail's pace. Verizon will reportedly let you choose whether to slow your internet immediately or in 14 days. AT&T will require customers to complete an "online education tutorial on copyright." Comcast, because it's from Philly and Philly don't give no damns, will only require repeat offenders to watch a boring video as its Ultimate Consequence.
What happens after I get six warnings?
Here's the crazy part — under this program — nothing. Nothing happens at all. Jill Lesser, executive director of the CCI, said in an interview earlier this month that, after you receive six alerts, you won't receive anymore:
We hope that by the time people get to alerts number five or six, they will stop. Once they've been mitigated, they've received several alerts, we're just not gonna send them any more alerts because they're not the kind of customer that we're going to reach with this program.
Of course, you can still get sued.
Can I protest an alert if I receive one?
Yes. The appeals process requires a $35 fee that is waived if the person filing it can prove financial hardship. If the appeal is successful, the fee is refunded. If the appeal is unsuccessful, you got caught AND you paid $35 for the CCI to say "Yep, we caught you."
What happens if I get scared after my first alert and stop downloading?
You are the system's ideal customer. You will live the rest of your life in fear, but the alerts will stop. Have fun downloading hot tracks from the public domain.
Are there ways to avoid getting alerts in the first place?
Of course there are! The method the CCI is pushing, which will no doubt prove popular with millionaires and billionaires, is to just procure all your content legally.
Apart from that, program only targets P2P sharing sites, so you can skate around this whole hoopla by using direct-download or streaming sites. If you want to get fancier and more illegal, lots of people better at computers than you are publishing long lists of acronym-heavy advice to avoid getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar (of intangible files).
Will this program stop people from torrenting?
Absolutely not. Lesser admits that it will probably have little affect on "large scale pirates," and is instead designed to deter the "casual infringer." It will, however, be annoying.
Why would you Op if they identify you so easily? Doesn't make sense.
Download at the library...I do.
And doesn't the library know who is using what computer? Mine does.
If you take your home computer into my library and access the net wirelessly...no they don't know.
Use Rapidshare sites. Torrents are out.
We did a thread on this OP.
This entire thing is one big clusterfuck. It's so broad these companies can do anything.
I like watching British shows, stuff you can't get in the US.
Watch SOPA come back. Nude screencaps, caps of any tv shows or movies will be a thing of the past. I hope Annonymous destroys Hollywood, those greedy Facist bastards. They're going to control everything, and they are major lobbyists like the NRA. Scary times.
People dl at Starbucks. Starbucks will now be screwed. Say goodbye to wi-fi there.
Comcast screwed Netflix. Those movies are big files, and now customers are get questionable bandwidth notices.
r6. I've never done this before. How do people get wi-fi access in public places? Obviously you do not use the log in details your provider gave to you, right? But aren't library internet connections password protected?
Wi-Fi in public libraries doesn't require a password.
Start using the Newsgroups for your ill gotten goods. Your ISP won't know what you're downloading or from whom you are getting it.
The problem is OP that you may not have gotten a real warning but an internet phishing scam. I've never downloaded anything and I got an official looking "warning" sometime last year. It was a virus or spyware thing.
In English R12 What newsgroups can I access torrents from and can you give us a starter link?
I found a great link about newsgroups...sounds like a fucking pain in the ass.
You have to pay,
You have to knit files together if content is missing it won't work...
horrid system to my mind.
Give me the library.
Back in the late 90s/early 2000s, people got all their films/software/media from newsgroups. There was a free program that would download the numerous files and knit them all together.
As someone who has happily downloaded from Usenet for many years, I'd like everyone to know that it's a horrible, stupid process and a big waste of time. Oh, and it's [italic]really[/italic] complicated to use. You should totally stick with torrents. Be sure you tell all of your friends to stick with torrents, too.
It's so easy to get around this it's not even funny.
The dying throes and last gasps of the desperate RIAA and the cable business which is also in major decline and won't exist within the next decade.
I think if these companies try anything, "anonymous," "4chan," etc., will fuck with them.
[quote]There was a free program that would download the numerous files and knit them all together.
That functionality was built into Outlook Express back in the olden days, as was access to Usenet via your ISP. It was all so much easier back then.
I didn't like Ledger in his role as "Joker".
I have no idea how to use Torrents.
R6 & R10 You will still get caught. It's called a "MAC Address" It is a designated code assigned to only your make and model of computer. Your mac address will appear on their wireless network router page. And yes, it can and will be traced back to you.
R23 which can also be called a "Physical Address"
I'm here to help some of you. This is not the end of your online privacy as you know it. There are ways to circumvent their plans.
It's called a VPN (stands for Virtual Private Network) and you can use it to shield prying eyes from your internet habits.
How does it work?
First you'd need to sign up for a VPN service (I linked to one I currently use & trust)
In a nutshell it encrypts your internet connection on your computer so that your ISP can not see what is happening. They can see that you are using a VPN, but they don't know for what (checking mail or skyping with a friend for example). You see, a VPN allows your computer to make a connection to a server anywhere in the world. Once connected your IP address is now that of the server you are connected to- eliminating your current house IP address that your ISP assigns you (you're anonymous in that sense).
Can you do whatever you want? I wouldn't recommend it. However, some do. Most VPN's keep "logs" which detail what user is using what server and all that. If your VPN provider is hosted in a different country then they abide by the laws of that place.
Money is traceable? Yes. If you pay with paypal and if for some reason they say you hacked someone- you're in trouble. Unless there is no paper trail. Certain VPN's use "Bitcoin" it is a virtual currency you can buy in person (pay in cash only). Once you acquire it, you then enter the assigned bitcoin codes to the person accepting it as payment. They receive the money in their bank account from the bank backing the coin.
So, I'm anonymous now? Not yet. If you want to be though. Sign up with an email address not currently connected to you. Use a random name. Write it all down. And pay with Bitcoin. Now, if there is a problem they have no way to track it back to you. You're anonymous.
Don't be stupid a VPN will hand over your records under a court order.
If you guys REALLY want more information about this, go to a site called
Torrent Freak (dot) Com.
It's pro-file sharing so you have to take a lot of it with a grain of salt. But the articles are fair, the comments are pro file sharing.
Especially look to the right side, where they have a column dedicated to VPN and which sites turn over info to a court order.
I have a VPN. I use it to watch blocked videos on web sites out of the country.
Can you download on an iPad?
The poll should've included the choice "take precautions and continue downloading as usual." First of all, everyone's going to start using a good VPN. Secondly, newgroups are going to become more popular. Thirdly, the file-locker scene is still thriving, after they tried to destroy it last spring. Try as they might, they'll never put the genie back in the bottle.
r26, the site you link has exhaustively weeded out all suspect VPN's and listed the most trustworthy ones. So it's odd you're using the site to prove VPN's can't be trusted. Read their list of the most trusted, choose one and pay with Bitcoin. Remember you get 6 warning before they do anything anyway, so people are definitely going to be trying VPN's.
I pretty much use my computer as a DVR, since I refuse to pay Comcast for one and watch most of my shows on the computer while I work or surf the net. 6 notices,temporary speed limitations, an online course, and threats aren't going to stop many people, especially those with internet access in public places (colleges, libraries, coffee shops etc,)
Fuck the major labels and the government. I'm still pissed that I lost a huge chunk of my graduate coursework, which I saved on MegaUpload account, when they took down the whole system and all the files of even those (like me at the time) who were NON-offenders of the copyright violation policies.
[quote]I have no idea how to use Torrents.
Me neither. I never really have had the need to download huge files, like TV shows, when they are available in flash format somewhere on the internet. The flv file downloads to the computer anyway, but for some reason it doesnt have the same stigma as when people download files to watch them later. I dont get it. Maybe someone can explain.
Is VPN the same thing as using a proxy?
I've been downloading TV shows for several years now and just got my first infringement notice from Comcast today. Should I be waiting for the police to show up at my door and haul me away at any given moment.
In all seriousness, has anyone here had any negative repercussions from getting caught illegal downloading?
R34 upon occasion yes, but most of the trouble goes to those who upload the files in the first place.
I got one from Comcast a long time ago. I continued to download and I never heard from them again. But I literally never look at my Comcast e-mail; I believe that is where those notices may be hiding.
OTOH, I have noticed some slowdowns; when I have, I cadged off my (next door) landlord's account. He gave me his password and he has faster connection speed, so it's convenient.
Hope that helps.
I mostly use cyber-lockers, and the downloader is never liable in that case. It's not our responsibility to know whether or not the content is copyrighted or not. Sometimes I do have to use torrents to get something I can't find with cyberlocker links, but it's rare. If I did it more often, I'd research how to disguise my identity with proxies. Just too lazy to look into that so far.
Converting youtube to mp3s are ok since youtube is public domain, right?