I’m somewhat concerned to learn that the RIAA may be enlisting broadband providers, such as AT&T and Comcast, to police their networks for content theft. While I don’t condone software or media piracy, I’m uncomfortable with Comcast tracking my every move online. Especially given their apparent inability to keep their records straight. As John Aprigliano discovered when Comcast misidentified him as a movie pirate:
Waiting in my snail mail box for me was an unassuming letter from your favorite cable provider, and mine, Comcast. Contained in this letter was information pertaining to an alleged torrent download called “Cadillac Records.” I have come to learn that “Cadillac Records” is a movie with Adrien Brody and that their marketing for this movie must have really sucked because with what ever thousands or millions of dollars they used to promote this movie, I have never heard of it
We’ve heard cases like these before, where customers are assumed guilty until proven innocent. Fortunately, John knows a bit about networking and helped Comcast discover their “alleged infringement” error. As it turns out, the offending cable modem, identified by hardware MAC address, was no longer in his possession. Having been redeployed by Comcast after he moved.
I can also speak firsthand of Comcast’s inability to handle customer moves… and confidential data. My post last April documents how we ended up with the former resident’s email account and password. Leading back to my privacy concerns. What exactly did Comcast do with John’s account and personal information after (incorrectly) flagging him for a DMCA violation… Was this data provided to a studio or distributor? What about law enforcement? And how did they follow up with those entities once it was determined this was a false positive? Further, has his account been cleared of this inaccurate transgression?
We’re going to need a lot more transparency in how these issues are handled.