[Videolib] "They're" watchin...

Mark Kopp (mkopp@iu08.org)
Fri, 27 Mar 2009 09:39:39 -0400

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AT&T to start sending copyright warnings

By PETER SVENSSON AP Technology Writer The Associated Press

=20

NEW YORK (AP) - AT&T Inc., the nation's largest Internet service
provider, will start sending warnings to its subscribers when music
labels and movie studios allege that they are trafficking in pirated
material, according to an executive.

The phone company thus joins other major ISPs that either go beyond
legal requirements or interpret their duties under the law to mean that
they have to forward such notices.

Jim Cicconi, AT&T's top executive in Washington, confirmed this week
that the company is looking to expand a trial program it ran late last
year with movie studios. It is currently testing a system with the
Recording Industry Association of America and will expand the program
with other rights organizations.

Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.
already forward such notices, but the approaches differ, and the legal
situation is muddled.

Copyright holders like movie studios can, in many cases, identify
Internet users who download or provide pirated material by their
numerical Internet address, but cannot match it up with a subscriber
name without the cooperation of the Internet service provider.

ISPs have previously identified their customers to copyright holders who
bring court orders. The copyright holders and their representatives,
like the RIAA, have then been able to sue the customers.

But that strategy had been widely criticized, and the RIAA said late
last year it was abandoning its policy of filing lawsuits, opting
instead to work with ISPs to cut abusers' access if they ignore repeated
warnings. At the time, the RIAA said it agreed with several leading
ISPs, without naming which ones, to notify alleged illegal file-sharers
and cut off service if they failed to stop.

Cicconi said AT&T's program was not the result of a deal with the RIAA,
and the music industry organization was not part of the first trials the
company conducted of the notification system last year.

Under the new system at AT&T, copyright holders would send a notice to
the ISP that a certain numerical Internet address is associated with
piracy. The ISP would then automatically forward the notice to the
customer via e-mail, without telling the copyright holder who the
customer is, Cicconi said.

AT&T and other participating ISPs are doing more for copyright owners
than they are legally obliged to, according to Fred von Lohmann, a
senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. However,
they do have an obligation to have a policy in place to kick off repeat
offenders, he said.

AT&T will only forward the notice and won't threaten its customers with
suspension of service or any other sanction, Cicconi said. If copyright
holders want to go further, it's up to them to bring court orders, he
said.

"It seems to engender a good response from customers, and we've seen a
fairly dramatic drop-off in file-sharing activity once people receive a
notice, so we feel this works," Cicconi said.

Cox, the fifth-largest ISP in the country with about 4 million Internet
customers, forwards thousands of notices per month and has cut off a few
repeat offenders, spokesman David Grabert said. It interprets the law as
requiring it to forward the notices.

There's confusion about the legal obligations of ISPs, von Lohmann said,
because "nobody on either side has had the nerve to go to court over it,
probably because the stakes are so high, neither side wants to gamble on
what the ultimate answer might be."

In Ireland, the association representing RIAA members sued a local ISP,
forcing it to disconnect a subscriber after three recorded copyright
violations.

Internet lawyers and consumer advocates have pointed out that many
reports of violations from copyright holders are inaccurate. Cox and
AT&T said that in many cases, the notices have gone out to parents who
didn't know that their children were pirating copyrighted material. In
other cases, AT&T's Cicconi said, customers hadn't secured their
wireless routers, and someone else near had been using them for
downloading, so AT&T has helped customers secure their routers.

=20

=20

Mark W. Kopp

Technology Assistant

IT Department

Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8

4500 6th Avenue

Altoona, PA 16602

P: 814-940-0223 ext. 1384

F: 814-949-0984

C: 814-937-2802

=20

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<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:auto;margin-right:3.75pt;
mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto;background:white'><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:14.5pt;
font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>AT&amp;T to start =
sending
copyright warnings<o:p></o:p></span></b></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'margin-right:3.75pt;background:white'><span
style=3D'font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:black'>B=
y PETER
SVENSSON AP Technology Writer </span><span =
style=3D'font-size:9.0pt;font-family:
"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#999999'>The Associated Press</span><span
style=3D'font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:black'><=
o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p><=
/span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>NEW YORK (AP) =
&#8212;
AT&amp;T Inc., the nation's largest Internet service provider, will =
start
sending warnings to its subscribers when music labels and movie studios =
allege
that they are trafficking in pirated material, according to an =
executive.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>The phone company =
thus
joins other major ISPs that either go beyond legal requirements or =
interpret
their duties under the law to mean that they have to forward such =
notices.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Jim Cicconi, =
AT&amp;T's
top executive in Washington, confirmed this week that the company is =
looking to
expand a trial program it ran late last year with movie studios. It is
currently testing a system with the Recording Industry Association of =
America
and will expand the program with other rights =
organizations.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Comcast Corp., =
Cox
Communications Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. already forward such
notices, but the approaches differ, and the legal situation is =
muddled.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Copyright holders =
like
movie studios can, in many cases, identify Internet users who download =
or
provide pirated material by their numerical Internet address, but cannot =
match
it up with a subscriber name without the cooperation of the Internet =
service
provider.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>ISPs have =
previously
identified their customers to copyright holders who bring court orders. =
The
copyright holders and their representatives, like the RIAA, have then =
been able
to sue the customers.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>But that strategy =
had
been widely criticized, and the RIAA said late last year it was =
abandoning its
policy of filing lawsuits, opting instead to work with ISPs to cut =
abusers'
access if they ignore repeated warnings. At the time, the RIAA said it =
agreed
with several leading ISPs, without naming which ones, to notify alleged =
illegal
file-sharers and cut off service if they failed to =
stop.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Cicconi said =
AT&amp;T's
program was not the result of a deal with the RIAA, and the music =
industry
organization was not part of the first trials the company conducted of =
the
notification system last year.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Under the new =
system at
AT&amp;T, copyright holders would send a notice to the ISP that a =
certain
numerical Internet address is associated with piracy. The ISP would then =
automatically
forward the notice to the customer via e-mail, without telling the =
copyright
holder who the customer is, Cicconi said.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>AT&amp;T and =
other
participating ISPs are doing more for copyright owners than they are =
legally
obliged to, according to Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney at =
the
Electronic Frontier Foundation. However, they do have an obligation to =
have a
policy in place to kick off repeat offenders, he =
said.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>AT&amp;T will =
only
forward the notice and won't threaten its customers with suspension of =
service
or any other sanction, Cicconi said. If copyright holders want to go =
further,
it's up to them to bring court orders, he said.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>&quot;It seems to
engender a good response from customers, and we've seen a fairly =
dramatic
drop-off in file-sharing activity once people receive a notice, so we =
feel this
works,&quot; Cicconi said.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Cox, the =
fifth-largest
ISP in the country with about 4 million Internet customers, forwards =
thousands
of notices per month and has cut off a few repeat offenders, spokesman =
David
Grabert said. It interprets the law as requiring it to forward the =
notices.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>There's confusion =
about
the legal obligations of ISPs, von Lohmann said, because &quot;nobody on =
either
side has had the nerve to go to court over it, probably because the =
stakes are
so high, neither side wants to gamble on what the ultimate answer might
be.&quot;<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>In Ireland, the
association representing RIAA members sued a local ISP, forcing it to
disconnect a subscriber after three recorded copyright =
violations.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal =
style=3D'mso-margin-top-alt:0in;margin-right:11.25pt;
margin-bottom:7.5pt;margin-left:0in;background:white'><span =
style=3D'font-size:
9.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Internet lawyers =
and
consumer advocates have pointed out that many reports of violations from
copyright holders are inaccurate. Cox and AT&amp;T said that in many =
cases, the
notices have gone out to parents who didn't know that their children =
were
pirating copyrighted material. In other cases, AT&amp;T's Cicconi said,
customers hadn't secured their wireless routers, and someone else near =
had been
using them for downloading, so AT&amp;T has helped customers secure =
their
routers.<o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Comic =
Sans MS";
color:maroon'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><span style=3D'font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Comic =
Sans MS";
color:maroon'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;font-family:com;color:maroon'>Mark
W. Kopp</span></b><span style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>Technology
Assistant</span></b><span style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>IT =
Department</span></b><span
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>Appalachia
Intermediate Unit 8</span></b><span =
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>4500 6th
Avenue</span></b><span style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span =
style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>Altoona,
PA&nbsp; 16602</span></b><span =
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>P:
814-940-0223 ext. 1384</span></b><span =
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>F:
814-949-0984</span></b><span =
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><b><span style=3D'font-size:10.0pt;color:maroon'>C:
814-937-2802</span></b><span =
style=3D'color:maroon'><o:p></o:p></span></p>

<p class=3DMsoNormal><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>

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VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.

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