Print 19 comment(s) - last by fox12789.. on Dec 30 at 9:38 AM

You may be entitled to $16 if you are a Comcast customer whose traffic was throttled

Over two years ago, in October 2007, Comcast was caught slowing down the connections of customers who were using popular P2P programs like Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, FastTrack or Gnutella P2P protocols.  Comcast didn't admit, at first, that it was doing this, but when it finally acknowledged the practice it argued that filesharers put an unequal strain on its network and it had every right to throttle their connections.

It wasn't long before the company was slapped with several class action lawsuits. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission also opened an investigation into the internet service provider's "data discrimination".  Comcast continued to defend its practices both in court and to the FCC.

Now Comcast has at last given up one of those court battle and agreed to settle to the tune of $16M USD payout.  Unsurprisingly, despite essentially losing the suit, Comcast won't say it did anything wrong -- it says it has every right to "manage" its traffic and says the settlement was because it wanted to "avoid a potentially lengthy and distracting legal dispute that would serve no useful purpose."

Nonetheless, the good news is that Comcast subscribers who "live in the United States or its Territories, have a current or former Comcast High-Speed Internet account, and either used or attempted to use Comcast service to use the Ares, BitTorrent, eDonkey, FastTrack or Gnutella P2P protocols at any time from April 1, 2006 to December 31, 2008; and/or Lotus Notes to send emails any time from March 26, 2007 to October 3, 2007" are entitled to a $16 piece of the settlement pie.  The settlement should cover about a bit less than a million customers, the estimated size of the class.  While that may be a pittance, consumers who feel they were wronged should relish the chance to nickel and dime Comcast.

There are several other class action lawsuits that are still ongoing, surrounding the data discrimination.  They accuse Comcast of violating its own Terms of Service and breaking consumer protection laws by advertising its network as fast.

The settlement site can be found here.

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By jonmcc33 on 12/24/2009 11:41:31 AM , Rating: 5
Comcast Pays $16M USD to Settle P2P Throttling Suit, But Won't Admit Wrongdoing

That's the benefit of a settlement. Nobody has to admit to anything. They just settle and go their separate ways.

RE: Title...
By TSS on 12/24/2009 12:55:07 PM , Rating: 1
I never understood a settlement. Whats the benifit to society?

You did or didn't commit a crime. You should pay the penalty society has set for that crime, for the crime was against society (as society determines the laws). Or you should go free and the people who wrongfully accused you, pick up the tab.

To me settlements are simply the rich man's way of getting out of trouble, only now their legalised instead of bribing under the table. And it seems comcast got away from this one for a pittence, too (they damn well made more, or saved if you will, then $16 million throtteling the biggest cause of traffic on the internet for 2 and 1/2 years).

I know how much money you have equals how much justice you'll be served, it's always been like that. But come on... atleast have the decency to let the common folk think the justice system is actually a justice system and not a elaborate roulette table.

RE: Title...
By Oregonian2 on 12/24/2009 2:14:14 PM , Rating: 4
Such lawsuits are NOT criminal prosecutions, nor are being done to benefit society.

They are civil lawsuits and are done so that those doing the suing can get money from those being sued.

RE: Title...
By jonmcc33 on 12/24/2009 2:29:59 PM , Rating: 3
Lawsuits aren't about a crime. Lawsuits are civil complaints regarding damages. They seek a court judgement in most cases. That court will decide a fault and award accordingly.

The process of the lawsuit, the litigation, is to determine whether or not someone was wronged and to find a judgment based upon the level of wrong doing.

In order to spare a civil trial, in which all skeletons are exposed to the public, and avoid any embarrassment most will seek a settlement instead.

So a settlement does not admit to any wrong doing. It just drops the civil case and awards the plaintiff with whatever makes them happy.

If there was any sort of crime committed then it wouldn't really be in the hands of the plaintiff to pursue charges. It would be in a criminal court and handled by the DA.

RE: Title...
By rcc on 12/28/2009 4:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
To me settlements are simply the rich man's way of getting out of trouble

Sometimes, perhaps. However, scam artists also take advantage of them on a regular basis. Cause enough trouble and the other party will settle rather than going through all the time and trouble to go to court.

RE: Title...
By fox12789 on 12/30/2009 9:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
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