The RIAA stopped suing file-swappers in 2009, though they're now sending warning letters through various ISPs. Actually, the ISP sends the warning after receiving a complaint from the RIAA, at least in the case of Charter Communications. Here's a letter sent to a Charter subscriber earlier this week, and passed along to Digital Music News.
Dear Charter Internet Subscriber:
Charter Communications ("Charter") has been notified by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, that your Internet account may have been involved in the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (e.g., music, movies, or software). We are enclosing a copy of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice that Charter receivedfrom the copyright holder which includes the specific allegation.
Under the DMCA, copyright owners have the right to notify Charter's register agent if they believe that a Charter customer has infringed on their work(s). When Charter receives a complaint notice from a copyright owner, Charter will notify the identifiable customer of the alleged infringement by providing them a copy of the submitted DMCA notice. As required by law, Charter may determine that the customer is a repeat copyright infringer and reserves the right to suspend or terminate the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.
It is possible that this activity has occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, or even as a result of a computer virus. However, as the named subscriber on the account, you may be held responsible for any misuse of your account. Please be aware that using Charter's service to engage in any form of copyright infringement is expressly prohibited by Charter's Acceptable Use Policy and that repeat copyright infringement, or violations of any other Charter policy, may result in the suspension or termination of your service. You may view Charter's rules and policies, including Charter's Acceptable Use Policy, under the policies section of charter.com.
We ask that you take immediate action to stop the exchange of any infringing material. For additional information regarding copyright infringement and for a list of frequently asked questions, please visit charter.com/dmca.
If you have questions about this letter, you may contact us at 1-866-229-7286. Representatives will be available to take your call Monday through Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am-5pm (CST).
Charter Communications Security Resolution Team
--- The following material was provided to us as evidence ---
Sir or Madam:
I am contacting you on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) -- the trade association whose member music companies create, manufacture, and distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate music sold in the United States.
If you are an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you have received this letter because we have identified a user on your network reproducing or distributing an unauthorized copy of a copyrighted sound recording. This letter constitutes notice to you that this user may be liable for infringing activity occurring on your network.
If you are an Internet subscriber (user), you have received this letter because your Internet account was used to illegally copy and/or distribute copyrighted music over the Internet through a peer to peer application.
Distributing copyrighted works on a peer to peer system is a public activity visible by other users on that network, including the RIAA. An historic 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed that uploading and downloading copyrighted works without the copyright owner's permission is clearly illegal. You may be liable for the illegal activity occurring on your computer.
To avoid legal consequences, a user should immediately delete and disable access to the unauthorized music on your computer. Learn how at the "About Music Copyright Notices" section of http://www.riaa.com. That section also contains practical information about:
- How you were identified and why illegal downloading is not anonymous
- What next steps to take
- Where to get legal music online
We encourage Internet subscribers to visit the website http://www.musicunited.org, which contains valuable information about what is legal and what is not when it comes to copying music. It also links to some of the more popular online music services where fans can go to listen to and/or purchase their favorite songs.
We have attached below the details of the illegal file-sharing, including the time, date, and a sampling of the music shared. We assert that the information in this notice is accurate, based upon the data available to us. We have a good faith belief that this activity is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. Under penalty of perjury, we submit that the RIAA is authorized to act on behalf of its member companies in matters involving the infringement of their sound recordings, including enforcing their copyrights and common law rights on the Internet. This letter does not constitute a waiver of any of our member's rights, and all such rights are expressly reserved.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please visit the "About Music Copyright Notices" section of http://www.riaa.com.
Recording Industry Association of America
1025 F Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C., 20004
List of infringing content
Jay-Z Big Pimpin
Infringing Work : Big Pimpin
Filename : jay-z - big pimpin.mp3
First found (UTC): 2011-12-28T19:20:08.49Z
Last found (UTC): 2011-12-28T19:22:45.74Z
Filesize : 4605952 bytes
IP Address: --.---.--.---
IP Port: 49856
IP Wednesday, January 04, 2012
I think you should remove the IP address, it may be included in a document (or e-mail) but I am not sure Digtal Music News, as a third party, can publish it like that.
(disclaimer: I am just an app dev and I once dated a law school professor)
paul Wednesday, January 04, 2012
It's a good point, it really doesn't need to be included.
balbers Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Shades of 1984, THX-1138 and Minority Report. Welcome to the future.
Me Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Big Pimpin, indeed.
Visitor Thursday, January 05, 2012
If you Google the text of this warning you'll see the RIAA has been sending these out for 2 years or more. Nothing to see here.
LouisXIV Thursday, January 05, 2012
This letter is toothless!
You can keep on file-swapping and the only penalty is...
... a disconnection?
Then, you just get another account with the competitor next door? Eager to take the business?
fc Thursday, January 05, 2012
The letter might not be toothless if and when the copyright owner, or another copyright owner whose work is infringed (not the RIAA), decides to sue. Any series of such letters would be useful evidence of willful infringement.
gecko Thursday, January 05, 2012
These letters are unfounded. They are merely allegations.
The letter itself states that it is possible the computer could be infected, already giving you an alibi to dispute the claim.
Furthermore, as anyone who does download ill-gotten music would know, when you download music you do some serious downloading.
There is no indication where the song was obtained, only that it was found on the pc.
They only found 1 song? Really?!?!?!!
So you get disconnected, wow. There are many ISP's lined outside the door ready and willing to take your credit card number.
Get over it! Illegal downloading is here to stay.
The music industry had a chance to do something in the beginning but found the internet not to be a threat.
How's that feeling?
P Munny Friday, January 06, 2012