Why Did I Receive A Notice?
Why Did I Receive a Notice?
It is a violation of United States Federal Law 17 USC 106 to "share" our clients media on peer-to-peer "filesharing" programs like BitTorrent, uTorrent, Vuze and Frostwire. These programs copy and distribute the files that they "share." A copyright means that the copyright owner has the sole right to determine who may copy and distribute the copyrighted works.
· A computer under the control of the ISP subscriber that the notice is addressed to has uploaded, downloaded or offered to distribute the content detailed in the notice sent at the time, IP Address and Port specified in the notice.
· The computer at issue is not authorized to distribute this content. Accordingly, any distribution is a violation of law. The content is owned by our customer and the customer has authorized us to monitor illegal sharing/distribution of this content.
· It is the subscriber’s responsibility to assure that his or her connection is being used lawfully. Specifically, to make sure that any wireless routers have passwords to prevent unauthorized access and that houseguests and family members are using the connection lawfully.
Digital Copyrights & Piracy Background
Is Filesharing Illegal?
U.S copyright law, including the changes embodied in The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA,”) calls for substantial penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Under established statutory and case law, third parties that assist or are other wise involved in copyright infringement can have vast legal exposure as well. In the P2P context, an individual subscriber may be the “direct “ infringer of a copyright, but that subscriber’s activities are conducted over the ISP’s facilities. Accordingly, ISPs that become aware of illegal file-sharing over their networks, but that fail to take steps to mitigate it are at risk of liabilities large enough to put them out of business. That is why ISPs are serious about illegal P2P activity. They have to be.
The United States Code 17 U.S.C. 504. states as follows:
Remedies for infringement: Damages and profits (2) In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed wilfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000.
Obviously, ISPs want to avoid this type of liability. The DMCA gives ISPs a road map (often referred to as the “safe harbors”) that tells them what they must do to avoid being liable themselves for copyright infringement that is carried on by their subscribers. ISPs can take advantage of “safe harbour” benefits by helping DRC contact individual subscribers and settle infringement issues with them.
The P2P Landscape
The most popular access tools are Limewire, BitTorrent and eMule and the most popular corresponding protocols being Gnutella, BitTorrent and eDonkey.
There are operating companies like Lime Group LLC that sell and market the Limewire access software and BitTorrent, Inc. that market and sell the BitTorrent software. Limewire was sued by the music industry and Universal Music Group specifically.
A user downloads Limewire software or any number of other free Gnutella clients, installs it on their computer, and searches for a song. The Gnutella client sends a query to the Gnutella network and a list of all of the available versions of the song comes up. The user selects the version that they want. The Gnutella client sends a request for the song out to the network. The previous users who have downloaded the song have the song available on their computer for the next person who wants it. The Gnutella clients literally “talk amongst themselves” without any involvement from the user and the full song gets sent to the requested user in thousands of small pieces from thousands of individual computers. This is what makes it so fast.
The BitTorrent network works slightly differently. It requires that the user first locate a “torrent” file that contains the detail on the location of the computers that have the source files.
The industry has developed its own terminology. Seeders are people who have finished downloading 100% of a file and are sharing it for download. Leachers are people who are downloading the file and sharing a small part of it at the same time.
It is very important to grasp that in order to obtain rapid downloads; a user must allow their computer to upload to the network.
If It Is Illegal, Why Does It Continue?
Under FCC regulations, ISPs are not allowed to block specific types of network traffic. The idea being that if they are allowed to block peer-to-peer traffic, they could also block any type of content, religious or political, a violation of freedom of speech.
Comcast (NSDQ:CMCSA) agreed to pay a $16 million settlement to prevent further litigation after it was found that the company violated regulations by the Federal Communications Commission by regularly blocking peer-to-peer traffic as part of its business practice. Specifically, Comcast was subject to a heated class-action lawsuit elicited by irate customers for blocking P2P file-sharing packets, in particular BitTorrent, in 2007 and 2008. At that time, Comcast denied accusations that it was responsible for slowing down or otherwise impeding BitTorrent, but eventually conceded that it had engaged in controversial network "traffic management" techniques in order to free up bandwidth.
So ISP’s have the obligation to assist copyright holders in their enforcement of their rights, but the ISPs cannot fullfill that obligation by simply blocking access simply by blocking P2P traffic.
How it Works
We have built a Software as a Service (SaaS) technology that we sell as a service to copyright owners to collect settlement payments from consumers who have illegally downloaded copyrighted content.
Our technology system monitors the global Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing networks and sends emails to Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) as per the Digital Millennium Copyright Act with the date, time, song title and other specific technology identifiers to confirm the infringement by the ISP’s customer. Once the ISP is in possession of these facts, they forward the notice, or send a distinct notice, to their customer and to disconnect the services of repeat offenders when appropriate. Digital Rights Corporation collects this money and pays the copyright owner a percentage of these settlements.
Every mp3 file that is downloaded has at least two copyrights, a sound recording copyright and a publishing copyright. The publishing copyright is the right to use the song separate from the sound recording such as putting the song in a movie, re-recording the song or printing the lyrics and melody on sheet music. According to US law, copyright owners have the right to be paid when their copyrighted materials are used. We have an agreement with the recording artist, music label or music publisher who owns the copyright cited in the notice you received.
Our technology monitors the Internet all of the time looking for infringements. When a copyright is infringed upon, we receive the following data
Date and Time of infringement
Port (similar to the last four digits on your nine-digit zip code)
We send this data to the ISP in an automated computer format called XML. These emails are called “DMCA notices,” and they follow the format prescribed in subsection 512( c) of the DMCA. Though the format is the same (for other legal reasons), these notices should not be confused with “Takedown” notices. The ISP keeps “router logs” of all of the activity on their networks. When we send these notices, they cross-reference the data we send with their router logs. By doing this cross reference, the ISP knows which one of their customers was using the IP Address in question at the time and date specified. Due to the DMCA law as described above, they forward these notices to their customer on the customer’s email address. The notice comes to the customer from their ISP, not from Digital Rights Corp.
The user who receives the notice, is liable for $150,000 in damages, but if they click on the link supplied, they can enter a credit card and we will settle the matter between them and the copyright owner for $20.00.