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297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 135937 6-Jun-2008 11:16
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Yeah Ok so I diverged a little.

There are 3 main points I suppose:

1) Is the Law "good"? I say no.

2) Are WxC's rules in particular a fair interpretation or application of the Law? I say no but that is largely compounded by my view of (1).

3) Is the current impact of an account termination fair punishment for the action? I say no. There should be more customer relations options and more technolgy based options that involve service restriction rather than cancellation. This could allow WxC and other ISPs to avoid losing customers (even if they are doing P2P, they are assumably still paying money), and for customers to avoid being left in the IT dark.

However the first two points arent really for this thread so I am sorry for being so verbose about them. The third one is.

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Master Geek


  Reply # 135938 6-Jun-2008 11:37
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maverick:

We do listen to feedback here and have based changes on the way we do things from some of this feedback, my questions to you were purely academic and I actually thought you may have enjoyed the challenge since you are studying in the Industry and management is what you are looking at by the looks of it, and this is the type of issue you have to deal with at a management level, so by asking the questions I am trying to get across to you and others that will read this some of the things that we as a company and other ISP's have to put into our thought processes, If you see what we look at and try and take that into account you may have more of an understanding of why we do things, I could just have easily said "This is The LAW" Borrowed from the Judge Dread movie Cool, but that doesn't give you an insight as to what we have to take into account or give , and people here want to understand and have open discussion with us, I am hopefully doing that.
 



offtopic... that's the longest sentence I think I have ever read, Maverick.

Tongue out

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 135940 6-Jun-2008 11:40
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testing123:
maverick:

We do listen to feedback here and have based changes on the way we do things from some of this feedback, my questions to you were purely academic and I actually thought you may have enjoyed the challenge since you are studying in the Industry and management is what you are looking at by the looks of it, and this is the type of issue you have to deal with at a management level, so by asking the questions I am trying to get across to you and others that will read this some of the things that we as a company and other ISP's have to put into our thought processes, If you see what we look at and try and take that into account you may have more of an understanding of why we do things, I could just have easily said "This is The LAW" Borrowed from the Judge Dread movie Cool, but that doesn't give you an insight as to what we have to take into account or give , and people here want to understand and have open discussion with us, I am hopefully doing that.
 



offtopic... that's the longest sentence I think I have ever read, Maverick.

Tongue out



sorry was in the zone......... Embarassed




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

https://www.facebook.com/wxccommunications

297 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 135941 6-Jun-2008 11:49
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Heh. I had to go back and chop my sentences up after dumping my mind!

I think I will just stick to my Outsourcing honours project at the moment, thanks, maverick. I get distracted from it enough without diverging into contemplating the entire philosophy of modern economics and law :P


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Master Geek


  Reply # 135968 6-Jun-2008 13:06
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To add my 2 cents worth.

It was suggested earlier in this topic that internet access is a right. No, it is not.

Nor is internet access a necessity of life. Despite what some people in this forum might think, it is possible to survive without an internet connection or even a telephone connection. Being disconnected would be inconvenient, certainly, but these connections are not essential.

If Xnet were acting as the internet police then I would have to say that they’re doing a very poor job. If they were so inclined, there is much more that xnet could do to identify, investigate, and prosecute people who illegally access copyrighted material. However, that is not currently the role of any ISP, including xnet, and I would like to keep it that way. We have police, lawyers, and courts to do investigation and prosecution of illegal activity.

So, xnet are not the internet police and I see no indication that they are acting as if they are. Instead, xnet are just responding to a complaint from the legitimate owner of the material that was illegally accessed. If xnet failed to act upon the complaint, then that could be considered to be condoning the illegal activity, which would be irresponsible at best. It may even be considered to be facilitating a subsequent illegal act, which may itself be illegal.

Given that we have police, lawyers, and courts for dealing with illegal activity, I think that having your internet connection suspended or disconnected is a small penalty compared with other potential legal consequences. Overseas, people have been fined and/or jailed for illegally accessing/supplying copyrighted material via the internet. I’m not aware of any prosecutions in New Zealand, but there is no reason why it couldn’t happen here.

If you are caught illegally downloading copyrighted material, you have no defence. If you claim that having your account suspended or disconnected is an unfair or inappropriate action by xnet, then you could dispute that action in court. However, I suggest that such a claim would be unwise. Consider yourself lucky that the worst you have to do is find another ISP.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 135971 6-Jun-2008 13:21
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BobW: To add my 2 cents worth.
If Xnet were acting as the internet police then I would have to say that they’re doing a very poor job. If they were so inclined, there is much more that xnet could do to identify, investigate, and prosecute people who illegally access copyrighted material. However, that is not currently the role of any ISP, including xnet, and I would like to keep it that way. We have police, lawyers, and courts to do investigation and prosecution of illegal activity.

So, xnet are not the internet police and I see no indication that they are acting as if they are. Instead, xnet are just responding to a complaint from the legitimate owner of the material that was illegally accessed. If xnet failed to act upon the complaint, then that could be considered to be condoning the illegal activity, which would be irresponsible at best. It may even be considered to be facilitating a subsequent illegal act, which may itself be illegal.

Given that we have police, lawyers, and courts for dealing with illegal activity, I think that having your internet connection suspended or disconnected is a small penalty compared with other potential legal consequences. Overseas, people have been fined and/or jailed for illegally accessing/supplying copyrighted material via the internet. I’m not aware of any prosecutions in New Zealand, but there is no reason why it couldn’t happen here.

If you are caught illegally downloading copyrighted material, you have no defence. If you claim that having your account suspended or disconnected is an unfair or inappropriate action by xnet, then you could dispute that action in court. However, I suggest that such a claim would be unwise. Consider yourself lucky that the worst you have to do is find another ISP.


Argh please, this discussion is not about the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement, nor how/why xnet chooses to disconnect - simply how, once the decsion has been made, to inform the customer and allow them time to migrate.


BobW: To add my 2 cents worth.
It was suggested earlier in this topic that internet access is a right. No, it is not.

Nor is internet access a necessity of life. Despite what some people in this forum might think, it is possible to survive without an internet connection or even a telephone connection. Being disconnected would be inconvenient, certainly, but these connections are not essential.


No, early on in the topic it was concluded that altough internet is a luxury and not a right, a telephone is considered so in today's developed world.

Using your argument you can say that it is possible to survive without electricty or living in building with a roof over your head - obviously possible but thats not how the western world defines "needs".

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Master Geek


  Reply # 135977 6-Jun-2008 13:53
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Filterer: Argh please, this discussion is not about the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement, nor how/why xnet chooses to disconnect - simply how, once the decsion has been made, to inform the customer and allow them time to migrate.

I am not debating the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement. I am questioning the basis of your assertion that xnet should allow time for the user to migrate to another ISP.  If an internet connection were an essential service, I would agree. But it is not, therefore there is no basis for delaying the suspension/disconnection beyond the initial warning.  Actually, delay may facilitate further breaches which, as I said, would be irresponsible and potentially illegal.

As for whether or not suspension/disconnection should include all services, ie. internet and telephone, I agree that the telephone service should not be suspended, as it was not the telephone service that was used for the illegal activity.

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  Reply # 135980 6-Jun-2008 14:04
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BobW:
Filterer: Argh please, this discussion is not about the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement, nor how/why xnet chooses to disconnect - simply how, once the decsion has been made, to inform the customer and allow them time to migrate.

I am not debating the rights and wrongs of copyright infringement. I am questioning the basis of your assertion that xnet should allow time for the user to migrate to another ISP.  If an internet connection were an essential service, I would agree. But it is not, therefore there is no basis for delaying the suspension/disconnection beyond the initial warning.  Actually, delay may facilitate further breaches which, as I said, would be irresponsible and potentially illegal.

As for whether or not suspension/disconnection should include all services, ie. internet and telephone, I agree that the telephone service should not be suspended, as it was not the telephone service that was used for the illegal activity.


I can see your logic but as we move towards an IP environment where your VoIP phone connects over your internet connection then your logic is flawed. If you argue that a phoneline is an essential service then an internet connection has to be an essential service as well.

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Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 135981 6-Jun-2008 14:06
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When I say 'rights' I just mean the rights transferred by contract over property.

The argument is:

Is it "right" for law to impose obligations and liability on ISPs for copyright policing, as it now does?

Is it "right" for ISPs and their lawyers to be left to interpret the ambiguity of the law?

Is it "good" for ISPs to simply disconnect the whole connection given the reliance on a connection for more than just web browsing, and the ability to use technology to maintain a connection but withdraw the contracted rights to a particular service provided via that connection.

90 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 135986 6-Jun-2008 14:23
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sbiddle: I can see your logic but as we move towards an IP environment where your VoIP phone connects over your internet connection then your logic is flawed. If you argue that a phoneline is an essential service then an internet connection has to be an essential service as well.

If it is not technically possible to separate internet data from the telephone service (since VoIP is just data), then the ISP has no choice but to disconnect both services.  In that case, disconnecting the telephone would be an unfortunate, but unavoidable, side effect of disconnecting the internet service.

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Geek


  Reply # 135990 6-Jun-2008 14:29
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This seems to be a good point in the thread for me to jump in.

I've enjoyed reading the comment and thoughts on both sides. Firstly, ideally the phone service would continue to operate in the event of an account suspension. At least for the purposes of making an emergency services call. The team are working on an effective solution. It is an issue of being a responsible provider who does wish to ensure the well being of our neighbors where possible.

To the point of suspension; Xnet take considerable effort to contact subscribers who have been issued a Cease and Desist order.

The process is this

We send an email and call the client advising them of the copy write infringment notice.
Many customers opt to use alternative email services to that of Xnet, so when we do not hear from the subscriber the following action takes place:

The account is set to suspend after seven days, but only if we are unable to contact the customer. We then continue to attempt to call the customer on the numbers that they provide us when they join and leave a msg if they are unavailable. If we are unsuccessful and the account suspends, we will generally hear from the client at which time they are made aware of the cease and desist order and warned that a second such action will result in the permanent suspension of the service.

Generally this will make users aware of the seriousness of the situation and they either quit what they've been doing, secure their end point in order to ensure that their access is not being jeopardized by another party or kick their kids in the bum and tell them to stop downloading other people's intellectual property.

Xnet are not the police and have no intention of acting as such. We are acting in accordance with law. We do not have an argument as to what should be free to all and what is to be considered personal property. That is an issue for the law makers. Contact your local MP if you think there is a hope of convincing them that NZ should legislate for all things on the Internet to be the property of all people who manage to get access to it.

In the mean time. Our policies are clear. I am confident that we make every attempt to let the user know what will happen if there is a second incident. This is the final word on the issue from Xnet

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Master Geek


  Reply # 135993 6-Jun-2008 14:44
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maverick: would love to be able to recover our cost's on this by charging a processing fee as do you think it's fair that we have to wear the cost's in time and wasted manpower, hence the reason we are no fans of this at all ... so if you can tell us how I can cut my costs and meet the legal requirments then  I'm all ears.

Is there potential for an ISP code of practice which deals with suspension/termination of accounts? Does a code of practice already exist?

A code of practice may allow, for example, for a reconnection fee to be charged following an account suspension/termination in circumstances such as those discussed in this topic.  This fee would recover the cost to the ISP of dealing with the owner's complaint and the suspension/disconnection process.  At the moment, there would be little point in attempting to charge such a fee, because the user could simply switch to another ISP and hence the fee would be unenforceable.  But if the fee had to be paid prior to the user being reconnected to any ISP, then there would be some chance of the enforcement mechanism being successful.

Of course, this approach raises both technical issues (eg. how to identify the user) and ethical issues (eg. privacy, since some sort of exchange of information would be required, either directly between ISPs or via a central registry).

There are precedents of industry-wide procedures for dealing with these types of issues.

For example, electricity consumers with a poor credit history are often required to either pay a bond before being connected, or they are placed on tariffs that limit the retailer's credit exposure (eg. using a prepayment meter, or similar arrangement).  Electricity consumers are uniquely identified via a central registry, which makes this process much easier.

Similarly, insurance companies require disclosure of prior claims, including any claims that have been turned down for any reason (including illegal activity).  They use this information in setting conditions on the insurance, including the premium rate and whether or not to provide the insurance at all.  Previous insurers may be contacted to verify information stated on an insurance application form.  Any application or claim information that is found to be incorrect or misleading can result in immediate termination of the insurance and/or refusal to pay any claim.

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  Reply # 136110 6-Jun-2008 23:38
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Having been one of the earlier people being disconnected from XNET for downloading illegal material, and oh the shame for something so lame (Quantum leap :) I can say the process is much improved from then to now. I was simply cut off till I phoned up the helpdesk, now there is a 7 day warning period.

I understand XNET's situation, where they have to follow the law, and it's a manpower suck for sure.

Not too sure of the technical modifications needed, but assigning the user a special IP range and then shuffling them off to a call us web page/IP range with VFX still working would be a good idea.

On a totally different topic, I STRONGLY believe ISP's should be doing this for PC's detected as infected as BOTS as well, would save the world a lot of hurt, and the client a big traffic bill.

I see two problems.

1. Rogue users on a larger network purposely triggering a disconnection notice. Someone getting back at their employer by getting their phones/internet disconnected.


2. All a customers phones going offline. Mass panic ensures :-/

Personally my opinion is if hollywood would give me a option to watch TV online at a reasonable price (i.e. Sky TV pricing) people wouldn't break the law!




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  Reply # 136141 7-Jun-2008 08:42
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Here is what is now happening in the UK:


Virgin Media and BPI (the UK equivalent of RIAA) plan to start sending out warning letters to the ISP’s errant subscribers illegally sharing music over Virgin’s broadband. BPI will identify illegal file sharers and send that information to Virgin Media. The ISP will then send the subscriber two “informative letters,” one from Virgin and one from BPI. Thus begins a plan of action the ISP and music association started back in March. We weren’t impressed with it then, and we aren’t impressed with it now.


Enlisting ISPs to help enforce civil laws on their networks is a slippery slope that could lead to privacy violations, conflicts of interest and lawsuits against the ISPs. Plus, warning people who illegally share music files that what they’re doing is wrong isn’t going to save music sales.


So what that Virgin isn’t disconnecting users who receive warning letters? It’s still a private company working to enforce public laws. There’s a word for that. Vigilante.



My view is that New Zealand ISPS played a dumb card on this. They should have worked together to help the politicians "see" that this law just adds a not needed level of effort and human resources requirement to enforce something that is not actually contributing to lower piracy.

But have we ever heard of ISPs working together?

If left for the NZ recording industry association to decide they would make even connecting to the Internet illegal. Just read their subission to the Digital Broadcast review:


10. When considering regulations for broadcasting and other types of transmission to the public in this digital environment, it is important that consideration is given not only to standards of content being transmitted, but also to whether or not the content infringes copyright.


11. The problem of unauthorized digital downloading and file sharing of music is the single greatest issue for the future of the recording industry, musicians and songwriters alike. The availability of musinc online for free is crippling the full development of a legiitimate digital market.


14. Much of this decline [of CD sales] locally and internationally is due to systematic infringement of copyright by individuals sharing music via on-line peer to peer ("P2P") networks on internet services controlled by ISPs.


16. Until recently, ISPs have played little role in protecting copyrighted content on the internet and copyright theft has been allowed to run rampand on their networks.In the case of infringement via P2P networks, ISPs so far have stood by, allowing a mass devaluation of copyrighted music.



They say there is a decline on CD sales - and attribute this to piracy and P2P. They completely fail to mention that on-line sales are soaring - Vodafone, Telecom, Digirama, Apple iTunes and other smaller ones are replacing the bricks-and-mortar.

But it is very convenient for them to say "CD sales are down" without saying that music sales are not necessarily down.





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  Reply # 136333 7-Jun-2008 23:40
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exportgoldman:
.... I see two problems.

1. Rogue users on a larger network purposely triggering a disconnection notice. Someone getting back at their employer by getting their phones/internet disconnected...


...Personally my opinion is if hollywood would give me a option to watch TV online at a reasonable price (i.e. Sky TV pricing) people wouldn't break the law!


I think you've stumbled on a really huge issue there!

Say for example company X is a hosting provider colocated in a data centre. The Data centre received one of these notifications, warns company X , and on the 2nd warning has to end their services. Then ALL of company X's web sites etc hosted will be offline untill they find a new place to colocate. This law has not been thought out properly and companies acting as middlemen supplying services wholesaled from ISP's stand to loose the most through this rule. There need to be provision within the rule to only penalise the very end user.

Imaging a organisation like Trademe having their services suspended because one of their offfice staff had a propencity to downloading copyrighted content on the sly...

Xnet's only other option would be to limit p2p for the notified customer to protect the customer from getting totally disconnected.


- and some questions, is there a cool-down period on the warnings? Does your first warning get reset after a month? And can you re-join with the ISP again at a later date? Some heavy illegal downlaoders might start runing out of ISP's soon.

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