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article imageGoogle Fiber forwards piracy fine notices straight to subscribers

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     May 23, 2015 in Technology
Google Fiber is reportedly forwarding copyright infringement notices to subscribers offering settlements ranging from $20 to $300.
Google Fiber, the high-speed broadband service offering broadband speeds up to 100 times faster than the national average, gave its subscribers a nasty shock with piracy notices being automatically forwarded to users if they downloaded copyrighted material.
Copyright monetization firms such as CEG-TEK and Rightscorp blast thousands of settlement notices every month to ISPs demanding payment, often settled online, ranging from $20 to several hundred dollars.
According to Torrentfreak, Google is not the first provider to automatically forward such notices, but is probably the biggest. Other big ISPs including Comcast, Verizon and AT&T have chosen not to forward settlement demands directly to subscribers to protect their interests.
Google has defended its action saying it hasn’t shared information of the subscribers directly with the complaining firm.
Zdnet has published an automatic settlement demand forwarded by Google Fiber from music licensing firm BMG, which reads:
BMG will pursue every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney's fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by BMG as a result of any action that is commenced against you.
While BMG is entitled to monetary damages from the infringing party [...] The BMG believes that it may be expeditious to settle this manner without the need of costly and time-consuming litigation. In order to help you avoid further legal action from BMG, we have been authorized to offer a settlement solution that we believe is reasonable for everyone.
According to Mitch Stoltz, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ISPs are not legally bound to send such notices to subscribers and such threatening notices may terrorize the users.
In the U.S., ISPs don’t have any legal obligation to forward infringement notices in their entirety. An ISP that cares about protecting its customers from abuse should strip out demands for money before forwarding infringement notices. Many do this.
More about Google Fiber, notices, Piracy
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