Our policy on Intellectual Property Piracy
We are aware that some people enjoy getting free movies or software via the internet, sometimes because they own the disk but can’t find it but usually because they just want it for free.
However, we live in this great country where we choose our lawmakers who sign our laws, and some of these laws have strict requirements with severe penalties for internet services providers: Please understand that while we didn’t write these laws, we are forced to comply with them or we will be struck with severe legal trouble.
In 1998, our United States Senate unanimously voted to pass the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law that same year on October 28th.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires that every ISP (Internet Service Provider) immediately block access to any illegal filesharing activity as soon as the ISP finds out about it.
Illegal filesharing activities can be done in many different ways on the internet such as via websites, ftp sites, or email, but the most common form of illegal filesharing these days is done with one of the several bit-torrent based programs such as uTorrent, FrostWire, LimeWire, Shareaza, and many many more.
Bit torrent programs work by connecting to hundreds of other users who are also are running bit torrent programs. The movie you are downloading comes in pieces from these different users. Your bit torrent program pieces them together to form one big file which is the movie (or file) that you are downloading.
The problem is that in order for the process to work, your computer actually broadcasts requests out to hundreds of other computers which in turn broadcast them even further, and ultimately, anyone in the world can quite easily find out exactly which movies or software packages you are downloading. They don’t get your name, but they do get your Internet Address (IP address) – which leads them to us.
So here’s the rub: The owners of copyrighted materials do the same thing! They run a bit torrent program, and search for their movies and then they get a list of everybody else who is sending or receiving their copyrighted material — then they send legal threat notices to the internet service providers in question, which is authorized fully by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Internet Service Provider is then required – by federal law – to immediately stop the illegal activity.
To make a long story short, when one of our customers gets caught taking part in copyright violation, we get a legal threat notice!
And we don’t like legal threat notices.
The legal notice is called a “Takedown Notice” because it is a legal demand that we “take down” or (more literally disable access to) an alleged action of copyright infringement.
Furthermore, the copyright holder can sue and get a judge to issue a court order which can actually force us to turn over the customer’s name so the copyright holder can sue the customer directly.
Thus, it is against this backdrop that we have established the following policy to allow us to comply with the law while trying still to be as fair as possible to our well meaning customers, also while at the same time keeping us (and you!) out of legal trouble relating to Intellectual Property Rights Infringement.
If we become aware of illegal copyright infringement taking place on our network, we will disable your internet. Call us at 360-582-1051 and we’ll help you figure out how to remove bit torrent from your computers, then we can switch your internet back on.
(Please understand the importance here: You wouldn’t like receiving legal threat notices because of somebody else’s illegal actions, and we don’t either!)
We aim to be fair and understanding but you must understand the seriousness of the issue in light of federal law.
What it means for you:
It is very easy to avoid getting into these sort of troubles.
Bit Torrent programs can be used to share files that are not under copyright restrictions, but almost everything that is legal to share via bit torrent is also available via regular websites.
Our general advice is to just stay away from all bit torrent programs. The reason is that the uniqueness of Bit Torrent is that it allows the copying of files from one person to another without a centralized server. This used to provide some legal protection but now it does not because copyright holders can sue ISPs and / or end users.
Rather than bit torrent programs, you can find legal ways to get many things that you normally look for on bit torrent.
Sometimes there is a small cost or sometimes it is free with advertisements.
Also, there are thousands of real radio stations around the world which stream their audio over the internet so you can often find your choice of music that way for free — and even often in the language of your choice!
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.