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Comcast's recent practices of throttling P2P traffic has finally attracted a class action lawsuit from a frustrated customer

Comcast's bandwidth limitting and peer-to-peer traffic sabatoging traffic finally caught up with the company. A class-action lawsuit has been filed (PDF) by residents in the state of California against Comcast.

Jon Hart, the plaintiff, claims Comcast Corporation committed a breach of contract by violating Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, the Business and Professions Code section 17200 and 17500 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act by practicing the management of P2P-based traffic including throttling bandwidth and "transmitting unauthorized hidden messages to the computers of customers who utilize such applications."

The class-action includes "all persons in California who purchased the Service [Comcast broadband Internet] between November 13, 2003 and the present and used or attempted to use peer-to-peer or online file sharing applications and/or Lotus Notes."

The plaintiff represents all persons who have used P2P and file sharing applications, but there is no mention of exceptions where copyright infringement/piracy is involved.

Hart's submission seeks contract damages for compensation of the impeded service, but does not specify an amount.

Recently, many other ISPs such as Canadian-based Bell Sympatico confessed to using traffic management to restrict access to accounts based on the type of application or protocols they are using.  However, Comcast is still the first company to get hit with a lawsuit for such practices.


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RE: I can't wait...
By clovell on 11/15/2007 4:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
And you'd have to patch from v1.0 and download more than a few distros every day for a week or so to have used enough bandwidth for Comcast to have thought about throttling you.


RE: I can't wait...
By Sprockster on 11/15/2007 4:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
It is not just that many including myself have not been able to seed at all for the past couple months. Believe it or not I like to return the favor when downloading something and usually share at least enough to have a 1:1 ratio, but not anymore.


RE: I can't wait...
By semo on 11/15/2007 7:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
that's not returning the favor. with a ratio of 1:1 you have not contributed to the network but at the same time you haven't taken anything away (effectively), i.e. you just break even.

it doesn't matter what you use your bandwidth for, companies should not blatantly advertise a service they can't deliver. using p2p for illegal purposes is wrong and misselling is wrong and in that case 2 wrongs (imo) don't make a right.

for those ppl that can't think of a legal use for p2p, remember that only copyrighted material is technically illegal to dl without paying. lots of anime isn't copyrighted outside japan for example. i don't think the makers are happy for their material to be downloaded by someone in england for free but the law works both ways.


RE: I can't wait...
By jconan on 11/15/2007 7:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
would that also imply to hollywood movies in another country sri lanka... then this should also be applied in the same theory to anime. just because it's not an american origin doesn't mean copyright doesn't apply internationally else american products should be treated the same.

however applications that are potentially bandwidth hogs are high def. mmogs. running this on a 1.5mbs bandwitdh only allows mmog otherwise speed suffers...


RE: I can't wait...
By opterondo on 11/15/2007 8:44:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's not brain surgery -- Unless the material is copyrighted in a specific country or internationally it is legal to copy.

International copyright only applies to participating countries like a treaty.

Something does not just become "copyrighted" it must be specifically requested to be copyrighted by the owner/author of the material.

So as said before: Most anime is not copyrighted in the USA or Internationally, thus IS legit to copy.


RE: I can't wait...
By darkpaw on 11/15/2007 10:30:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Something does not just become "copyrighted" it must be specifically requested to be copyrighted by the owner/author of the material.


Actually, if IRC from my law class a work of art (anime included) becomes copyrighted the moment it is completed. There is no need to request something is copyrighted.

Sounds like you buy the piracy excuses hook, line, and sinker.

Taking something without permission of the owner is no cool, no matter what country they are from.


RE: I can't wait...
By semo on 11/16/2007 7:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
ok i agree about the ethical part, i'm not even going to pretend to understand the legal issues.

the sites i'm referring to obviously provide torrents for anime that isn't copyrighted outside japan and most of the time it means it isn't in english or in any other language. that's where fansubs come in.

in my eyes, that's appreciation of art because there is someone who dedicates their time to make that art available to a wider audience for no gain and then there is the viewer who would never have experienced that art.

those sites would delete the torrent to anime that is officially released for the international market (but that torrent doesn't disappear though).

remember when art was made for culture and to be appreciated, not for (world dominating) profit.


RE: I can't wait...
By jconan on 11/16/2007 6:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Actually most anime are copyrighted. It's just not written in English. Japan is part of the WTO and it is not legitimate as you claim to be.


RE: I can't wait...
By jconan on 11/16/2007 6:20:45 AM , Rating: 2
Actually most anime are copyrighted. It's just not written in English. Japan is part of the WTO and it is not legitimate
to copy as you claim to be. If Americans can't respect the copyrights of others than why should the rest of the world
respect American copyrights like RIAA bs who'll claim to fight for other artists but pocket for their own. (Majority of
artists are not compensated by the RIAA scam and similar to most class action lawsuits only the lawyers.) Most WTO
member nations copyright applies similar as Microsoft's IP would apply so does works of art.


RE: I can't wait...
By jconan on 11/16/2007 6:20:45 AM , Rating: 2
Actually most anime are copyrighted. It's just not written in English. Japan is part of the WTO and it is not legitimate
to copy as you claim to be. If Americans can't respect the copyrights of others than why should the rest of the world
respect American copyrights like RIAA bs who'll claim to fight for other artists but pocket for their own. (Majority of
artists are not compensated by the RIAA scam and similar to most class action lawsuits only the lawyers.) Most WTO
member nations copyright applies similar as Microsoft's IP would apply so does works of art.


RE: I can't wait...
By tmouse on 11/16/2007 9:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Actually you are wrong. Both the United States and Japan are signatories of the 1995 Trips agreement. If the Anime is copyrighted in Japan it is copyrighted in the US. Now the enforcement is up to the holder and if it is a small Japanese firm there will probably be none, however Japanese distributors usually empower regional licensees to act on their behalf and US distributors May sue on their behalf. There is NO requirement to establish regional duplicate copyrights in any of the countries which have signed onto the WTO Trips treaty.


RE: I can't wait...
By totallycool on 11/15/2007 4:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
i was just pointing out that p2p downloads are not always illegal Songs and Movies as the OP implied.

Also from what i have read Comcast is not throttling just some customers. They are doing it across the board for the P2P service.


RE: I can't wait...
By clovell on 11/15/2007 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 1
Well, that could be a problem, if that's the case.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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