I am observing “shifting sands” when it comes to the number of internet users who are getting caught in the web of CEG-TEK DMCA-based settlement demand letters.
For almost two years, I have been telling people that there are three internet service providers who are working with Ira Siegel — Charter Communications, SuddenLink, and CenturyLink. This has been true, and continues to be true.
I have also told people that if your ISP is participating in the “Six Strikes” anti-piracy system — specifically, Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision – then there is nothing to worry about (because these ISPs are no longer forwarding Ira Siegel’s DMCA settlement demand letters, meaning that there is nothing at the moment to settle). This is NO LONGER TRUE.
In recent weeks, I have observed Comcast (Xfinity) infringement notices sent to subscribers in spite of the “Six Strikes” system being in place. [The Comcast notices contain relevant infringement information, yet only reference the “CEG-TEK Case Number;” Comcast has, however, neglected to provide the password so that the accused downloader could visit CEG-TEK’s website to determine what claims they have against him. The unintended consequence is that in order to see what claim(s) CEG-TEK has against the accused subscriber, the subscriber would be forced to contact CEG-TEK directly to obtain the password corresponding to the Case Number (thus exposing his identity, and potentially incriminating himself when answering questions). Direct communication with copyright trolls is a big no-no, as you know it is my opinion that communicating directly with them is a bad idea because their goal is to extract a large settlement from you on behalf of their clients.]
As for the 100+ small and mid-sized ISPs who did not join the “Six Strikes” system, with hindsight, we now know that CEG-TEK has spent the last two years on an aggressive campaign to enroll as many ISPs to work with them as they could… “to stop piracy,” of course. While it was surprising to us is that CEG-TEK went after Giganews and a growing number of VPN providers (finding the downloaders where the downloaders allegedly reside), the breaking news is that CEG-TEK has signed on COX Communications to send Ira Siegel’s DMCA letters to their subscribers.
Again, just in case you missed it — COX COMMUNICATIONS is now working with CEG-TEK.
Cox Communications has literally millions of subscribers. They were almost expected to be part of the “Six Strikes” system, but then they declined to join keeping them free of the “Six Strikes” rules.
On a personal note, Cox used to annoy me when various copyright trolls would sue their subscribers. Instead of housing a subpoena department internally, they used to outsource all of their business relating to their subscribers to a company named NEUSTAR, a company that was complicit and merciless in turning over the records of hundreds of accused defendants in the copyright trolling lawsuits over the years.
In sum, with this article I take back a number of things that I thought almost two years ago, namely that the Six Strikes system would kill CEG-TEK’s business. As you can see from the list below, CEG-TEK has responded to the “Six Strikes” system by focusing their efforts on growing the number of ISPs who are working with them. Now that they have Cox Communications on board, this will be a problem for many thousands of users in the months and years to come.
Below is a list of ISPs who have been known to forward Ira Siegel’s DMCA settlement demand letters. This list is obviously incomplete (and I have no intention of updating this list), but what is important is that two years ago, these ISPs were not working with CEG-TEK. Now they are, and accused internet users are receiving notices of infringement instructing that they visit CEG-TEK’s website and settle the claims against them.
LIST OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS KNOWN TO WORK WITH CEG-TEK:
Ashland Home Net
Blue Ridge Communications
EPB Fiber Optics
Internet Services of Cincinnati (ISOC.net)
NeoNova Network Services
PenTel Data (another name for Blue Ridge Communications)
ViaSat / Exede Internet
WildBlue (service through ViaSat)
UNIVERSITIES KNOWN TO FORWARD CEG-TEK SETTLEMENT DEMAND LETTERS:
University of Michigan
University of Alaska