Day: August 26, 2010

Not-So-Merry Go Round

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06:  Attorney Mark Ger...
Chris Brown

Yesterday I received a warning email from my ISP, Verizon, saying that I was accused of copyright violation. The RIAA had complained that someone at my address had downloaded a rap song by Chris Brown illegally. The event is logged, with the time (UTC) of the offense, the complainant, and the name of the allegedly downloaded material:

2010-08-23 01:59:08 RIAA Take You Down

The only problem is that none of my family listen to Chris Brown and no one here has downloaded that song. We were out of town and not on the net at the time of the alleged infraction. Our wireless network here at home is secure and no one outside my family has access.

So I called the copyright violation dept. of Verizon (actually, probably someone in a call center somewhere in the Philippines ) to complain. Three phone calls and a total of 45 minutes on hold later, they said that they could not remove an alleged infraction from my record, only advise me how to prevent recurrences (remove P2P software from my computer, secure the wireless network, etc.). I can understand their point; anyone could swear that they did not commit the download of which they stand accused.

What I want to know is whether I am at risk of being sued by the RIAA. Verizon’s FAQ on copyright violation says that they will not provide the name of the subscriber who committed the infraction to the RIAA unless subject to a subpoena or court order.

Anyone have a sense of whether I have any further recourse?