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?

2 thoughts on “Not-So-Merry Go Round

  1. Be careful, some only inform you there has been an infringement but there are about 55000 people being sued this month over things like this. These people are being sued by lawyer groups, the “US copyright group” being the biggest(20,000+ and growing). The people that are involved with “Righthaven” are also out there buying up copyrights with the intent to sue after subpoena for ISP logs has been served. Since this broke in June or July, six or seven groups have jumped on the band wagon, most of them are lawyers who solicit production companies to sue without charge for a percent of the settlement, then offer pretrial settlement. There is help, visit the EFF. (electronic frontier foundation) tell a friend if they get one.


  2. Once resolved, or you’ve given up trying to deal with Verizon, dump them. Verizon’sl administration of customer complaints is so unproductive and unreliable I dumped them a few years ago. Trying to deal with them simply was not worth it. They were the problem. I found alternate service elsewhere and so far have been able to live up to my resolution to have nothing further to do with that company. They don’t care about you and make it difficult or impossible to resolve issues like this.


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