AfterDawn: Tech news

Comcast, AT&T to help RIAA?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 28 Jan 2009 15:43 User comments (52)

Comcast, AT&T to help RIAA? Last month we reported that the RIAA was set to stop lawsuits, and would instead pressure ISPs to send warnings to alleged pirates eventually shutting down service to those that received three warnings.
According to sources talking to CNet, AT&T and Comcast appear to be the first ISPs to willingly join the RIAA's monitoring program and begin sending warnings to alleged pirates as the RIAA demands. After a few warnings, the ISPs will wither throttle the user's bandwidth or permanently disconnect them.

The agreements have not been signed yet, and the ISPs do still have time to withdraw, notes the sources. It appears the last speed bump before the contracts get signed is over compensation for the ISPs for customers who get their Internet taken away.

Four unnamed providers specifically noted that they were worried about being known collaborators with the RIAA, which would cause obvious customer defections and "negative press."

Comcast, AT&T and the RIAA declined comment.

Previous Next

Related news

 

52 user comments

128.1.2009 16:00

In the words of David Chapelle--RIAA is f@ch!nk up

228.1.2009 16:07

I have At&t and if this does go through i'll be switching my service asap i guess i should keep my eyes open for this bullshiet. Not like i'm a pirate or nothing but i dont like where its going monitoring my internet and all that to me is an invasion of privacy and if they are throttling as well then its time to say goodbye to crappy service. I gotta look to see who in the bay area has a decent service.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jan 2009 @ 16:09

328.1.2009 16:14

agreed, i just switched to att, but if this goes through back to suddenlink i go.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jan 2009 @ 16:14

428.1.2009 16:48

I feel the same way. I have comcast and although they have not come out and announced it, I have been noticing up and down throttling on my service. I had paid a month ahead of my due date and all of a sudden for three days straight my internet went from little to no service with no warning and no blackouts. On the same days, I piggybacked on my neighbors service (with their permission of course) and they had full service. I don't pirate and I don't think I abuse their service but if i signed up to use their "unlimited" service next to a business line (three laptops and two desktops are connected) then i don't see what their problem is. So if this goes through, I might be getting a new ISP as well

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jan 2009 @ 17:42

528.1.2009 17:09

I expect them to lose quite a few customers on this.

628.1.2009 17:27
warriorp
Inactive

well if they do ill be going to bayou internet. the owner specifically said he wont be dealing with stuff like that. so as soon as the announcement comes then im outtie.

728.1.2009 18:14

And how are they going to determine you are a "pirate" without invading your privacy. If they are assuming a customer that downloads alot is a pirate then that is bullsh!t. I have been known to download 5+ gigabytes in 1 day does that automatically make me a pirate? I just downloaded Windows 7 beta (both 32bit and 64bit) within an afternoon recently. I also frequently download lots of data when I work on computers outside of my house. So unless they are looking into where I make my download connections (ie. invading my privacy) then they are making assumptions, both of which are wrong.

828.1.2009 18:29
vballstud
Inactive

Didn't Comcrap already restructure their Internet Service by only permitting "x" amount of bandwidth usage per month? I thought about going back to them until they told me that they now have limits on bandwidth. There was no way that I could stay within their limits being unemployed and playing Xbox Live all the time. Especially now that I stream Netflix frequently.

If Comcast didn't have a monopoly in most areas that they're in, they'd be losing a helluva lot more business with all the poor decisions they've made in the last couple of years.

928.1.2009 19:27

Comcast and At&t are partner to or own alot of media inserts of coarse they re going to help...

1028.1.2009 19:45

Originally posted by vballstud:
Didn't Comcrap already restructure their Internet Service by only permitting "x" amount of bandwidth usage per month? I thought about going back to them until they told me that they now have limits on bandwidth. There was no way that I could stay within their limits being unemployed and playing Xbox Live all the time. Especially now that I stream Netflix frequently.

If Comcast didn't have a monopoly in most areas that they're in, they'd be losing a helluva lot more business with all the poor decisions they've made in the last couple of years.

See that is my point exactly. Comcast had a 250 gig limit a month. Ok, to the average user that might a good amount but as you stated (trust me i am in the same boat as you) I surf a lot, I view a lot of videos on You Tube, Meta Cafe etc, I play Xbox Live and I once in a while stream movies via Netflix plus the free (and legit non copyright infringing movies that are available to download absolutely free I can easily run out of bandwidth that they so implied was enough. I got 4 computers on wireless, a fifth one connected direct plus I seldom use the PSP for surfing....in other words, by my usage I am or could be labeled a "pirate" in their eyes. Whatever happened to "unlimited"? Now because of that gap I restrict everyone and myself to fall under the 250 gig mark but i should not need to. Either offer what you promised to give (unlimited internet) or raise the cap a bit, 250 gigs no matter how it is legitimized or abused is not enough for people like us that use the internet as such

1128.1.2009 20:04

It would be ludicrous for them to think of piracy as a result of high usage. I replaced my hard drive on my ps3 with a 320 gig and started re downloading all the games and demos I had before. It was over 100 gig worth. Am I now on the "big brother watch" list?

1228.1.2009 21:39

20 yrs from now..hard drive companies will not sell hard drives to end users (you and me)...only to companies. Games, movies, etc will be "streamed" and you'll have to login using a fairly draconian authentication system.

1328.1.2009 21:51

Originally posted by windsong:
20 yrs from now..hard drive companies will not sell hard drives to end users (you and me)...only to companies. Games, movies, etc will be "streamed" and you'll have to login using a fairly draconian authentication system.
If every device can stream HD quality media from mostly free services(think TV+internet) then the mainstream end user would not necessarily need to bother with their own storage systems.

Yes their would be plenty of subscription based services but you would have alot of advert based ones and adverts can range from stickers on the corners of a broadcast or commercials.

I think we will be better off then as the media mafia would have aged more into rehab than the crack smoking juvenile tweenty something they are now.

But more importantly for tech enthusiasts they will always have access to "expensive" new or 2nd hand crap so for people that give a damn not much will change but preahps the police begin able to make raids on your unlicensed home media server....

1428.1.2009 23:10
david89
Inactive

this suck and isps say you can't use over 250 gigs of bandwidth every month without being legal is false what about bands like nine inch nails that offering 450 gigs worth of 3 high def concerts that where filmed and all the other stuff this is just away to control the end user and make us have pay more use internet and how we use it because they (isps) can't comeup with new ways make money.

1528.1.2009 23:45

Originally posted by windsong:
20 yrs from now..hard drive companies will not sell hard drives to end users (you and me)...only to companies. Games, movies, etc will be "streamed" and you'll have to login using a fairly draconian authentication system.
That will never happen. people want big hard drives, the reason a lot of people own computers is because they can store all their stuff on it and access it easily.
Where there is a demand you can rely on someone being there to make money.
It's the same with ISP's, there is a market for torrent friendly ISP's.
Over here we have ISP's offering plans with names like 'torrent flood'
with unlimited off peak data.
These kind of ISP's do very well.

1629.1.2009 2:13

yea what about the bandwith that the picture sharing sites have that you post a picture onto one your nics on a website that uses bandwith too. and uploading photos n stuff via other sites takes up bandwith.
hell i would subscribe to a isp supplied music download and be able to rip and burn what i want and not worry about them invading my privacy whose next timewarner and charter cox......

1729.1.2009 2:30

Originally posted by Run4two:
It would be ludicrous for them to think of piracy as a result of high usage. I replaced my hard drive on my ps3 with a 320 gig and started re downloading all the games and demos I had before. It was over 100 gig worth. Am I now on the "big brother watch" list?

If you have Comcast and you go over that 250 gig cap, you will get a call on a sunday morning (happened to me, at 8am if you can imagine that since they are based in NY and thought I might of been awake at that time) by their legal team indicating you have gone over and need to either a) tone it down, b) see if by any chance you might be leaking bandwidth through a virus or c) make sure your wireless network is secure and no one else is leeching. That would be your first and only warning to not go over the limit. If you are caught doin so again, your service is terminated and you will not be allowed to reconnect after 12 months. So keep in mind your 100 gigs of info you downloaded is counting against you. Now you would think they could provide a meter of sorts or something but IMO they are just waiting for someone to fail this cap to come down hard on them without warning.

1829.1.2009 10:38

How does this move benefit Comcast or AT&T in the slightest way? Do they think they're going to save money or resources by throttling or disconnecting paying customers? I just don't see what they're getting out of it. I wouldn't hesitate to cancel my internet and phone service because of this.

1929.1.2009 11:49

Originally posted by TSRSteve:
How does this move benefit Comcast or AT&T in the slightest way? Do they think they're going to save money or resources by throttling or disconnecting paying customers? I just don't see what they're getting out of it. I wouldn't hesitate to cancel my internet and phone service because of this.
Because they are partner with or own parts of the media industry, they'll get money either way..

2029.1.2009 12:16

Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Originally posted by TSRSteve:
How does this move benefit Comcast or AT&T in the slightest way? Do they think they're going to save money or resources by throttling or disconnecting paying customers? I just don't see what they're getting out of it. I wouldn't hesitate to cancel my internet and phone service because of this.
Because they are partner with or own parts of the media industry, they'll get money either way..

Exactly. In my area alone it is either Comcast or AT&T, WOW cable does not yet service my area and there is just nothing else around here so i am pretty much stuck with one or the other. I bet this is the situation for most Comcast/AT&T customers

2129.1.2009 12:23

Originally posted by EnigmaCM:
Originally posted by ZippyDSM:
Originally posted by TSRSteve:
How does this move benefit Comcast or AT&T in the slightest way? Do they think they're going to save money or resources by throttling or disconnecting paying customers? I just don't see what they're getting out of it. I wouldn't hesitate to cancel my internet and phone service because of this.
Because they are partner with or own parts of the media industry, they'll get money either way..

Exactly. In my area alone it is either Comcast or AT&T, WOW cable does not yet service my area and there is just nothing else around here so i am pretty much stuck with one or the other. I bet this is the situation for most Comcast/AT&T customers
THats what happens we you don't regulate and don't make sure he liens can be used by anyone willing to pay for them.

Frankly the lines should be "owned" by the government or local municipalities, the lines are rented out to the service providers who are contracted to maintain everything on the lines within a limit of their operating base, it would not take much to put out routing devices as so phone, net and cable tv are separated and work on the end user box.

No we let the corporations own everything here....even the government....

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

2229.1.2009 14:15

What really sucks for me, if this comes true, is that while there may be several ISPs in my area, WOW,Insight,AT&T,EOL,SITCO, and I would imagine Verizion will be selling internet before to much longer in our area. However the apt complex I live in only allow you to have ATT Internet/Phone, and Dish Network(who AT&T is sub-contracting for u-verse) for full tv service.

2329.1.2009 18:06

well at least comcast now has a better excuse for throttling user's bandwidth to a near unsable state...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Jan 2009 @ 18:08

2430.1.2009 10:15

I live in the chicago area and got a letter from Concast a few weeks ago. It said that my internet service is going from 6mbps to 12mbps for no extra charge. Granted I don't see a difference at all.

2530.1.2009 12:18
atomicxl
Inactive

Ehh, its whatever to me. I like music and don't have any issue paying for it.

As far as bandwidth caps... Xbox Live and Hulu aren't gonna get you anywhere near 250gb a month unless you literally are playing and streaming 24/7 for like 20+ days.

2630.1.2009 13:23

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Ehh, its whatever to me. I like music and don't have any issue paying for it.

As far as bandwidth caps... Xbox Live and Hulu aren't gonna get you anywhere near 250gb a month unless you literally are playing and streaming 24/7 for like 20+ days.
Neither do I but its the price they try and force on you that generally makes me not want to pay.

2730.1.2009 23:46

thats why i made the switch to open wi-fi =D usa is full of hotspots

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jan 2009 @ 23:46


281.2.2009 0:13
carolrene
Inactive

I,m new here to afterdawn, as a registired member but have read articles of interest here for a few years. I like to download things of personal interst to me and i use quest telephone service an they also provide my dsl they have joined with comcast an at&t in internet piracy policy. Yes I plan on leaving there dsl service too. What i do on the internet is my business nobody else,s its a invasion of privacy and the isp,s are not holding up their end by disclosing personal information to the riaa or movie industry. Its not about whats right its about the almighty dollar. No wonder so many 3rd world countries find fault with the u.s.

291.2.2009 9:33

I just got a 120GB Zune and a Zune Pass, and within the first week I've downloaded 60GB+ of music, all legally. I also have XBL, Netflix, Offsite Storage, I run a FTP site for friends(mainly software, all legal), as well as downloading the 32 and 64 bit builds of every Windows 7 release, now 250GB seems pretty small doesn't it?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Feb 2009 @ 9:33

301.2.2009 11:05

Just about every provider out there can already see where you are goign on the internet. You signed saying it was acceptable or they have changed privacy laws to help themselves. To think that this country still cares about your pprivacy is a completely false hope. TIME WARNER, COMCAST, ATT already have a clause that says they have the right to see what customers are doing with their data to help provide better service to future customers. You are using THEIR service so you have to follow THEIR rules. If you don't like you can start your own ISP.

311.2.2009 12:06

These companies AT&T and Comcast deserve to be dropped by customers who find this alliance with the RIAA offensive to their rights as an individual to be free from being spied upon - as one person wrote that this is the eqivallent of a police car sitting ouside your residence all day and night watching your living activities when and where you come and go! Sensoring what you can and cannot download or send by reducing bandwidth and or expelling their service to you as a customer!

For having such disrespect for their customers these companies namely
AT&T and Comcast seserve to be dropped like a hot potatoe!

This is the only way we can teach these conglomerates that we won't stand to be bullied and have our rights bashed around and be expected to pay them for less service than what we desire!

Stand up to them,take away the money - this they understand! Drop them!
Cliff

321.2.2009 12:37

I've read on both FOX & CNN that the ISP's have been given "SSL Sniffers" which can decript SSL protected data. I guess the Patriot Act can be used for anything Democrats & Republicans desire.

331.2.2009 13:46

Hope Comcast and AT&T feel this worth the trade-off to losing even more customers. First it was the decree that they were going to limit the bandwidth you can use on a monthly basis, now they're going to act like security flunkies for the RIAA, who it appears can't build legitimate cases in the first place. Something tells me that there's a First Amendment attorney just waiting around the corner to help slap down any case that uses 'evidence' obtained by Comcast or AT&T. I mean DSL sucks, so why would these f00ls want to do things that makes it even harder to get business? God bless cable internet. :P

341.2.2009 14:01
UbuntuGuy
Inactive

I used to be with Comcast but left them for an entirely different reason. My new ISP, like a growing number of other ISPs, has "issues" with people who overuse P2P apps or torrent apps ... neither of which I use. I've long since abandoned those apps for offshore private sites. Even so, if I'm doing a lot of downloading in any given week, I "spread the load" (as it were). I'm fortunate enough to live in a metro area that's teeming with multiple (and free) WiFi hotspots - offered by stores, coffee houses, libraries, etc., etc. - none of which require secure logons to access. So, if my desktop downloading begins to reach an uncomfortable level, I simply toss my laptop in my car and head for a hotspot. Doing so, I remain a very tiny blip on any radar screen.

When I consider the growing number of ISPs willing to cooperate with the media Gestapo, I'm reminded of something Princess Leia said in episode 4 - "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." And so it goes...

351.2.2009 18:27

Ok, let me see, first Comcast limits its customers to 250 gigs, is that per month, or period? Don't get me wrong, I don't approve of limits of any kind if you are paying your money for a service, they are a service correct? Then If the RIAA wants to go after people, our services we are paying for should not be helping them. Do they not realize, it is a losing battle, people are ingenious enough to find other ways and means to get what they want.

Well, I have one thing to say: "George Orwell, 1984", Big Brother is here.

362.2.2009 4:32

I agree with the person that said it would be difficult at best to go over 250 GB. With that being said if you REALLY need that kind of bandwidth pay for commercial service and they never bother you about bandwidth issues at all.

372.2.2009 8:10

Quote:
Frankly the lines should be "owned" by the government or local municipalities, the lines are rented out to the service providers who are contracted to maintain everything on the lines within a limit of their operating base, it would not take much to put out routing devices as so phone, net and cable tv are separated and work on the end user box.
Come on Zippy, you ought to know better than that. It always costs more for the government to run anything. I doubt that you will get any more 'protection' with government. Comcast flipflops. They came down hard on P2P last fall then sent out a concilatory letter. I assume they lost customers. They are big on 'doing the right thing' until it costs them even a penny. I suspect there are two warring camps inside Comcast. Sales is probably pro P2P.

Knowing Comcast, only customers in areas where Comcast is the only show in town, get letters. I am in an exclusive area but 100-200 yards from Verizon DSL. Even that provides some protection.

It is quite an investment to run cable or fiber anywhere so they don't run cable in places where there already is cable. It is rare to have any competition.

atomicxl I wouldn't mind paying if the price was not an insult to my intelligence and they offered HiFi music. Instead they sell LoHi music I don't enjoy listening to for a dollar a tune. They could make more money selling at 10% of what they are selling it. They prefer making you dogs grovel, buying crap for an exorbenant price. What a joke! They know some of the public is dumber than dogs.

Musicfan7 good for you! They will still terminate you for using too much bandwidth.

382.2.2009 10:22

I wonder how much bribe does RIAA promised AT&T and Comcast executives. Guess AT&T and Comcast are filled with selfish corporate leaders.

392.2.2009 11:20

Living in south FL we only have 2 choices, Comcast cable and AT&T DSL.
I have Comcast, If they ever gave me the 3 strikes and your out they lose the game! I refuse to switch to AT&T's oh so slow DSL, after having a usual 14Megs with Comacast I cant take how slow DSL is. I have MANY family members who have Comcast and AT&T and are not happy at all with their services (esp Comcast) they all wont hesitate to give it up. Shoot my cell phone gets a 3Megs with Sprints EVDO Rev A I would use that lol. True I cant DL torrents and what not on my phone yet (who knows in the future) but anything to keep the man down!
Not to mention it can be used as a modem. If these fools mess with us little people they will suffer. We can just as well purchase a Sprint internet air card or Verizon for about the same cost. While speeds aren't as high im sure the technology will get there, especialy when things like Sprints WiMax start emerging.

402.2.2009 18:33

I am sure they wined and dined them but Comcast has been the most agressive anti P2P ISP in the US. The federal government fined Comcast for they were doing. Comcast now has a higher purpose and gives what they have wanted, to do some legitimacy.

NO, they didn't have to bribe Comcast.

I am sure there are plans how to connect a phone receptor to a computer on a hacker site.

412.2.2009 18:48

ALL THE PROVIDERS NEED TO "WATCH" what their customers are doing, it was part of the patriot act to see if they are taking part in terrorist activities or not.

YES, ALL OF THEM... even the one you are using right now.

423.2.2009 11:36

Originally posted by atomicxl:
Ehh, its whatever to me. I like music and don't have any issue paying for it.

As far as bandwidth caps... Xbox Live and Hulu aren't gonna get you anywhere near 250gb a month unless you literally are playing and streaming 24/7 for like 20+ days.
Not totally true, if you have 3 SAT DVR's and you like different On-Demands on each, Netflix streaming, CBS/Hula/YouTube and so on, Kids playing online games, and I could go on and on, it is very easy to go beyond the cap. Besides most people pay too much already for their over rated internet and we definitely don't need to be capped or censored but this is the problem with our government allowing monopolies.

433.2.2009 13:29

They have no legal right to brand anyone a pirate. That authority belongs solely to the courts. If they do this, they will be taking away your due process rights.

454.2.2009 8:24

They are not branding you anything. They are suspecting which is better for everyone. The penelty is light and they do not have to prove anything. By not proving anything they can punish 100 times more people

467.2.2009 11:14

Originally posted by Mez:
They are not branding you anything. They are suspecting which is better for everyone. The penelty is light and they do not have to prove anything. By not proving anything they can punish 100 times more people
and unfairly punish 100 times as many innocent people too

as I just wrote in another thread, big difference between three warnings from RIAA et al, and three convictions in a court of law

(see http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/16862.cfm)

but the punishment doesn't fit the crime because an accusation isn't proof of a crime, at least not yet...

477.2.2009 15:00

Whenever and wherever the RIAA is involved you can expect anything and everything that comes out nasty!

They are not biased though - they shyster artists and customers equally always have and always will as long as they are an entity in the music business!

They look after their own pets in the entertainment industry ( those that suck up to them ) while they endeavour to force feed the public what the RIAA wants you to purchase! They were not able to acquire their desired results by suing folks through the law courts, so now they are going to try to get the ISP's to do their spying and dirty work all for the benefit of the RIAA's bottom line!

Have you noticed lately how they are working on trying to get their credibility back by sucking up to President Barack Obama? Watch out if they can get him and his representatives misguided by believing that the RIAA actually looks after artists and are for the good of the music business in America, we may even see more legislation coming down that will take away even more avenues of acquiring the music that you enjoy and the ways you are able to acquire it!

As far as the RIAA are concerned they'd like to control all of the formats wherby music is available and set it up so that even if you purchase the same song - every time you used a different format you'd pay again! ie; CD, MP3, Wav,I-Pod, Internet, DVD even if it is a transfer from one format to another!

That's just one example of what The RIAA is about!

I've said it before and I'll say it again the only way we'll ever have a quality music business in North America again, is to get rid of the outdated dinosaur known as the RIAA and form a new body of North American music representatives that are interested in promoting our art in a healthy atmosphere for the honest good of our artists and quality enjoyment that is set up for the preference of music's customers!
Want satisfaction with your music? Ask your government to kick out the RIAA!
Cliff

489.2.2009 2:58

I just reread the article and found the key here "still negotiating the money"

AT&T and Comcast are willing to be bribed for having your internet stopped the amount offered just hasn't been enough yet

499.2.2009 7:53

Cliff1, I couldn't have said most of that better.

Quote:
shyster artists

That they are. However, I think you got it wrong with Obama. They helped him get elected. He owes them.

I didn't notice that the ISPs want compensation for what they are already doing. One set of shysters doing business with a bigger one.

509.2.2009 11:53

Well Mez, the fact that President Obama owes the RIAA for support during the election means that we are really going to have our internet, mucic and entertainment choices limited!

Seems these governments we acquire, are no longer governments for the people by the people, in so much as it has become governments for the corporations by the wealthy lobby groups of the corporations and all that is left for the little citizen is lip service!

Cliff

519.2.2009 13:00

Originally posted by Cliff1:
Well Mez, the fact that President Obama owes the RIAA for support during the election means that we are really going to have our internet, mucic and entertainment choices limited!

Seems these governments we acquire, are no longer governments for the people by the people, in so much as it has become governments for the corporations by the wealthy lobby groups of the corporations and all that is left for the little citizen is lip service!

Cliff
Well looking at how Bush.co was card carrying members of the oil and power conglomerates things could go bad but then again Bush.co had the dictatorial mindset.

Obama might to busy trying to fix the economy to worry about social pirates...but I wont hold my breath.

5210.2.2009 6:49

What else is new?

They first get rid of our jobs. 2 years ago they passed a bill to increase the green cards for PHDs and MDs from 100,000 to 200,000 extra per year. Only 2 senitors voted for the American public. They also give out an extra 200,000 or 300,000 extra Hi Tech green cards. These is on top of the regular allotment. They give away the low tech jobs because 'no one wants them' and say they will train you for Hi Tech but give them away as well.

Now they what to give away all our money and our children's money to their buddies.

Tomorrow they will take away our entertainment.

F@CK THEM!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Feb 2009 @ 6:59

Comments have been disabled for this article.

Latest user comments

News archive