Comcast To Settle P2P Suit Added: Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ISP, ET, Extra Torrent, p2p, Torrent, Peer To Peer, .torrent, utorrent, extratorrent.com, Comcast, bittorrent traffic, bittorrent throttling, Comcast Sued, throttle ISP
It's no secret that one of the largest internet service provider's in the United States, Comcast, has been throttling BitTorrent traffic. For several years they have openly stated that they've been throttling those using the BitTorrent protocol, and that it was essential to supply their customers with maximum allotted bandwidth. Now, after a tough class-action lawsuit against them for doing exactly what they admitted, they've decided to settle out of court.
Comcast announced that they would be settling the case which has been ongoing since late 2007 by stating that "We are pleased to have reached a settlement in these consolidated class action lawsuits. Although we continue to believe that our network management practices were appropriate and in the best interests of our customers, we prefer to put this matter behind us and avoid a potentially lengthy and distracting legal dispute that would serve no useful purpose."
They believe that their "network management practices" were appropriate, yet, they agreed to pay the customers whom were involved in the class action suit?
That to me seems amazing, and even more so stunning that the attorneys representing the disgruntled customers would agree to accept such a lousy settlement. The total agreement, for this deal, is only $16 million dollars, minus attorney fees and court costs.
The website which was created for those affected by the case to submit a claim form, states that "If you submit a valid Claim Form, you will receive a share of this amount, not to exceed $16.00. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by any party." Which means that Comcast does not have to admit to committing any fraudulent business practice, and that the customers get a total of a measly sixteen dollars, for all the years that Comcast throttled the bandwidth that they whole-heartily paid for.
Sad but true, the system has once again let down the little people. What's more ironic, is that there is still two other class action lawsuits slated against Comcast, for falsely advertising that they would provide their customers "unfettered access to all the content, services, and applications that the internet has to offer."
Many individuals whom are suing Comcast, have been quoted as comparing Comcast's "clandestine techniques" of monitoring and throttling the networks to the same methods which are "used by totalitarian governments" to completely censor the internet. Not such a pretty accusation for a huge ISP to have to defend itself from.
The FCC itself, had found Comcast in violation of the Federal Communications Commission Principal Standards, for throttling BitTorrent traffic in late July of 2008, when the FCC Chairman Kevin Martin came out with a strong statement that "it is imperative that all consumers have complete and unfettered access to the internet", which is obvious that Comcast has ignored in it's attempts to throttle users.
Comcast stated that they completely stopped throttling their BitTorrent users as of December 31st of 2008, although they did in fact adopt a new "protocol neutral" plan of limiting any customer which exceeded a "User Consumption Threshold" of 70% of their upstream or downstream bandwidth and they decided to cap customers at 250 GB total per month.
A partner from Lexington Law Group, Mark Todzo, one of the many attorney firms involved in the case, had stated that "This settlement is a great result for Comcast customers, as it reates an efficient and effective mechanism that will put money back in the customers’ hands without them individually going to court."
Many people whom once were Comcast customers, and feel that Comcast lied, and falsely advertised their promises of speed and connectivity, will in fact not be happy that they're only going to receive a sum of sixteen dollars from Comcast, when most of their monthly bills exceeded over a hundred dollars to begin with, and they were ripped off for years.
Only time will tell, what will happen to Comcast, but the victory in this particular case, only shows us that a company cannot throttle BitTorrent traffic and not face some consequences.
December 24th, 2009Posted by: Date:
Thursday, December 24th, 2009
|posted by (2009-12-24 19:19:25)|
|--Victory-- !! :)|
Amazing to see this. Comcast being one of the biggest companies managed to get away. I wonder how many more are out there that blatantly do things like these.
--- Anyways Obscene great article mate on the 24th!! You never stop.
-- Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas ----
|Very interesting post.|
as always. Hard worker. Even 1 day b4 christmas. Very nice.
wish u and ur family merry christmas. :)
|Well im not a comcast customer but that is great to hear. My ISP doesn't throttle bittorrent traffic they just make it so i can't connect to certain regions in the globe im not sure what is worse.|
Anyway great read.
|Comcast can blow me.|
|Sixteen dollars is a slap in the face. I use comcast and Believe I was a victim of throttling after dec. 08... They can keep there 16 dollars I'm already cancelling them when my contract is up! They been rapeing me for 2 years now and Im glad to see they got whats comin to them.|
|posted by (2009-12-24 21:21:58)|
|Lets hope this happens to charter next. They have me blocked where I cannot share torrents I make via applicatiosn needing port forwarding. Its really terrible.|
|Shht did you ask for your money back..I would!|
|posted by (2009-12-24 23:13:49)|
|Thanks Obs, Many countries such as my own have a "Fair use policy" which is a nice way of saying we are throttling you! Which in itself should be Illegal as it is on a service that promises up to 5mb sec, unlimited use. They get around the throttling by stating that they promise up to 5mb sec, so in reality 5k a second is true as it is less than the up to 5mb a sec. If I ever get fined I will promise to pay up to $500,000 and then give them $5.|
|I LIKE COMCAST....I HAVE THEM|
|posted by (2009-12-25 01:07:59)|
|I've been using Comcast for years, to be honest they've got a monopoly. There isn't anyone else unless you want to go wi-fi. Which reminds me Metro-Fi was going to give free access to all residents of the metro area, but backed out after they had it up and running. I once got a call from Comcast to let me know I had downloaded 975 GB in 1 month! and if it happens again I would be disconnected for 1 year. I never knew about the 250 GB limit. But 975GB, come on who could download that much. Seriously, in 1 month? What's the website? I want my $16.00. Merry Christmas damnit.|
|2canchu for one thing wake up 250 gig is nothing......I saw this comming OBS I even said something about it months ago. I'm also a comcast user. They did give us a 250 gig limit.(WOW-sucks) I just wish they would follow it!!! there not even close to acurate with useage. They say I'm at 226 gig NOW and I'm at 174 gig......So my thing is OK put me on a limit but damn get it right.......|
|posted by (2009-12-25 03:00:00)|
|Cox cable is doing the same thing. Thanks for the info. Cox will offer 50MB download speeds after the first of the year. Be careful, they also look for and monitor their customers that traffic more information than others.|
|I also use comcast and pay out the a$$ for unlimited but I get awesome speed to where I can download a full 2hr vid in under 30 min. For WiFi I use verizon cause they have the best coverage here but the speed is so so. I dont think they put a limit on mine but if they did I would not pay what I do for their service. I could wipe my a$$ with the $16 compared to what I pay them so thats just bs. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone and thanks again Obs.|
|posted by (2009-12-25 03:09:28)|
|Nice one Obs....|
|posted by (2009-12-25 06:16:15)|
|comcast sucks the hairy ball sack..|
|posted by (2009-12-25 09:16:26)|
|Thanks for the article obs|
|posted by (2009-12-25 10:44:42)|
|thanx for the info obs|
merry xmas ever1
|Great Article Obscene, and Happy Holidays.|
|Awesome article, and its also nice to know that bit torrent users as well as uploaders are not the only ones getrting nailed Comcast blows for the s**t they have been doing. Thanks for the article.|
|ty for the article... as always an interesting read....glad I don't have comcast|
|posted by (2009-12-26 08:16:51)|
|To those who are comparing their usuage to what Comcast says... Comcast is including both your Up and Down usage into one number... they said you can't do more than 250GB a month, that INCLUDES both Upload and Download.... (which means SEEDING).... |
Also, Comcast is not only monitoring your usage, they monitor WHAT you transfer too... they have been questioned by authorities and they have PROVIDED account infomation when asked, AND if you record their streams, they will turn you in... Comcast is VERY MUCH against piracy and they will turn you in....
Now, I use Verizon... (Baltimore, MD) so I suffer with 400K Bandwidth max for both up/dn/and playing my World of Warcraft..... I am waiting patiently for the FIOS to come into my area with their 1500K Bandwith... but as for Comcast... i will not trust them as a provider..
|posted by (2009-12-26 08:18:32)|
|Oh forgot to say... Verizon has told the Authorities they WILL NOT provide Customer Infomation due to violation of the Privacy Policies...|
|Another victory for lawyers.|
|posted by (2009-12-26 18:16:25)|
|There is a company in Sackatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada called Sandvine they make specialty packets, one in particular is the one Comcast uses: Peer-to-peer (P2P) management application|
HOW IT WORKS:
- The Sandvine program, running on Comcast's server, spies on packets for that local network boundary
- If the application seres that outbound P2P traffic is higher than a threshold determined by Comcast, Sandvine begins to interrupt P2P protocol sequences that would initiate a new transfer from within the Comcast network to a peer outside of the Comcast network
- The interruption is accomplished by sending a perfectly forged TCP packet (correct peer, port, and sequence numbering) with the RST (reset) flag set. This packet is obeyed by the network stack or operating system which drops the connection.
This affects BitTorrent, Gnutella, eDonkey, and some other p2p. It used to affect Lotus Notes but Comcast fixed that so their business clients would be happy.
|any company (in this case comcast) thrive because of the continued support of its subscribers/users/clients. and because of the continued patronage, bad practices continue to be inflicted on the hapless customers.|
its about time we stop patronizing companies that give us shit. this applies not only to comcast but to other companies shortchanging their customers.
we have the power. let us use it. the way to fight them is not to patronize them.
thanks obs. cheers to ET.
|posted by (2009-12-27 05:25:10)|
|This article could not come at a more interesting time for me. I got up at about 7 this morning and checked on my d'loads from the night B4 to see how they were going. Anyway they had all finished and since I was not planning on getting up anytime soon, I just altered UTorrent to maximum upload. This way as many people as possible could share the d'loads I had just got. What I didn't know is that my son was already awake and was playing WoW. Within 10 minutes of me altering my upload to maximums my son was out of his room asking me if I had started a new d'load. I said "No" and that I had just opened up the upload to maximum at our end. What our ISP was going was disconnecting us continuously. This was a real bummer when you are trying to play WoW - but what it makes me realise is that my ISP, whilst never issuing me any warnings, is also obviously monitoring the traffic their users are having come down the line so to speak.|
My above scenario sounds so much like what knowing says ie
The interruption is accomplished by sending a perfectly forged TCP packet (correct peer, port, and sequence numbering) with the RST (reset) flag set. This packet is obeyed by the network stack or operating system which drops the connection.
I live in Australia and I am using internode as my ISP. I have a 70gb usage per month plan and I am pretty sure I only pay for the d'loads not the uploads from me. But there is not too many months that I need to use more than the 70gb, maybe twice a year.
I agree with julesiago, vote with your dollar. And when your ISP asks why you are terminating their services - TELL THEM!!! There is more and more people using torrents everyday. Whether it be because of geographic location, or lack of money to go to the cinemas, or whatever reason. But the bigger thing I find is that these torrent sites (especially the best one - ExtraTorrent) are communities where like minded people can come and share an interest. Whilst there is lots of us here at ExtraTorrent who can work our way around a computer and a bit torrent client etc. Try and grab anyone off the street and talk RS, Telesync and hard coded subs - They would think you are taking dirty to them. Like any community, we share a common interest and desire to speak to like minded people.
Just one last thing about ComCast throttling bit torrent traffic - I have not seen a copy of the judgement but what I would be going for next is $16 every disconnection. See if you can prove that each time ComCast disconnected you, it was a separate incident and therefore a separate infarction of the law, (its called a point of law argument - crap I say) you can then state that there was say 1,000 separate infarctions therefore I claim the court ruling of $16 one thousand times over for a total of $16,000. It would be easy enough to do. Every company loves to boast about there connection statistics so fire them back at them. The average client has less that 2 disconnections a month and you have 50. Then the attorney would more than likely argue that the bittorrent user is not average. Then you could fire back with average usage say 5gb per month and you are 50gb per month. Therefore you should have only been disconnected on average 20times, making you suffer through an extra 30 disconnections per month. This has continued for say 12 months therefore you have suffered an extra 360 disconnections over the period of your contract so you should be paid 360 times $16 ie $5760.
Now check my maths, but the argument might work. I would definetly fight. Allowing though you don't convict yourself of doing any wrong doings. Check your contract you signed regarding fair usage etc and your state and federal laws regarding the internet etc. And you know they have failed when they throw home affairs at you. That's their "Hail Mary"
Great article OBS and like I said very timely in my case. I will now just have to limit each of my uploads to certain safe levels after I find out what they are. I will still seed at least 1:1. But it does explain an anomaly I had the other night where I found that even after an overnight seeding I had only given back about 100Mb in total on a 150Kbs line. Thanks again OBS and all the team at ExtraTorrent.
that's the link to the website to register, i wonder if it's a ploy to identify users. nowadays you can never tell. thanks for all the articles, great place to be a part of!
|Comcast is the Evil Empire!||
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