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Grandmother is falsely accused of file-sharing

Posted at 03 February 2010 03:00 CET by Jared Newman

A woman falsely accused of downloading copyrighted movies might’ve lost her Internet connection had she not taken her case to the media.

CNet reports — and was involved in — the story of Cathi “Cat” Paradiso, a 53-year-old artist and grandmother who lives in Pueblo, Colorado. Last month, Paradiso’s Internet service provider, Qwest, accused her multiple times of downloading movies and TV shows. While Paradiso scratched her head over the accusations — she wasn’t a fan of films like “Zombieland” — the copyright complaints piled up until Qwest said she had illegally downloaded 18 videos.

Paradiso insisted that she hadn’t downloaded those files, but to no avail. Eventually, Qwest suspended her connection, a devastating move because she works as a recruiter from home. That’s when she got in touch with CNet, and reporter Greg Sandoval started making inquiries. After digging a little deeper, Qwest realized Paradiso wasn’t at fault, and restored her Internet connection.

qwestlogo

The likely issue, of course, was an unsecured router. Paradiso said she tried locking her network down but acknowledged that she isn’t an expert. Given that Paradiso has little technology background and no children living at home, someone outside her home probably used the connection to download copyrighted files.

At that point, you could assign blame in all directions. Internet security firm BayTSP says it’s not responsible for falsely accusing Paradiso, as it’s her job to keep strangers off her network. So you could blame Paradiso, but is it her fault that someone else used her Internet connection to break the law? Some of the blame could also fall upon Qwest, who should’ve dug deeper in the first place, or even sent a technician to help secure her network.

Ultimately, though, this tale exposes a flaw in the “graduated response” system that rights holders are pushing, both in the United States and elsewhere: Internet subscribers accused of infringement are assumed guilty with no chance to defend themselves. Studios and ISPs agree that a review process is necessary, an unnamed movie industry attorney told CNet, and they want to improve their warning system so subscribes are better informed, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

The merits of kicking illegal file sharers off the Internet is up for debate, but we should all agree that if just one person is falsely accused of copyright infringement, the system is broken.

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There are 11 comments

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 03 Feb 10 13:11
    Again?

    What next? A toddler? Maybe a second trimester foetus?
    Blu-rayFreak
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 03 Feb 10 15:03
      maybe the RIAA should starting suing homeless people. They don't have an internet connection, but their families or friends gotta have some money, right?
      Mr. Belvedere
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 03 Feb 10 18:29
        I see your torrents and raise you with a "why wasn't the woman given a clear understandable secure router in the first place"!?
        RTV71
        MyCE Member
        Posted on: 03 Feb 10 21:30
          Had a warning from my ISP in the USA that someone was accusing my IP of sharing Rhianna songs. This was around 5am and since nobody on the LAN would even be remotely interested in that type of music, it was probably through my public WiFi. I solved it by connecting the modem to an appliance timer that turns it off at night. This way it makes it harder for *IAA to detect and my IP changes every day.
          DukeNukem
          MyCE Resident Commenter
          Posted on: 03 Feb 10 21:39
            Granny's gonna pay for her sins. Nobody, but NOBODY, crosses the RIAA or MPAA and lives to tell the tale.
            Zod
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 06 Feb 10 19:07
              While I agree with the need to create a dispute process for isp bannings (as its inevitable they'd take down innocent users), I don't think you can take the emphasis off unsecured wireless routers either.

              You can give a person the best wireless router out there, but if they don't know how to use, how to set up a randomly generated superlong password, and which encrpytion method to use (WPA2-AES?), the best router isn't going to help them.

              Perhaps routers should be issues with wireless turned off by default, so the user has to hardwire it in, unless they know what they are doing?

              a little bit of googling would help set up a router as well.
              debro
              Blown to smitherines
              Posted on: 07 Feb 10 01:34
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Zod
                While I agree with the need to create a dispute process for isp bannings (as its inevitable they'd take down innocent users), I don't think you can take the emphasis off unsecured wireless routers either.

                You can give a person the best wireless router out there, but if they don't know how to use, how to set up a randomly generated superlong password, and which encrpytion method to use (WPA2-AES?), the best router isn't going to help them.

                Perhaps routers should be issues with wireless turned off by default, so the user has to hardwire it in, unless they know what they are doing?

                a little bit of googling would help set up a router as well.
                or firmware comes with wireless preconfigured for WPA2-AES and a randomly generated password when first turning on the wireless function?
                Password to be displayed, and admin access password to be randomly generated & printed at the bottom of the router - based on the MAC address of the wifi chip?
                Dun
                New Member
                Posted on: 08 Feb 10 16:03
                  Wireless is not the problem. If the people like RIAA do not want there material, able to be viewed or downloaded. Don't make it availiable on the internet. The people have made the internet possiable. Company's when it was first introduced said it was not a good investment. So bottomline do not look to reap what you missed. Don't use the internet at all do all your selling the old way and nobody can download it. Think about it if you bought an album in 1940 and gave it to your children would you be guilty of file sharing. . .
                  Dun
                  New Member
                  Posted on: 08 Feb 10 16:24
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Zod
                    While I agree with the need to create a dispute process for isp bannings (as its inevitable they'd take down innocent users), I don't think you can take the emphasis off unsecured wireless routers either.

                    You can give a person the best wireless router out there, but if they don't know how to use, how to set up a randomly generated superlong password, and which encrpytion method to use (WPA2-AES?), the best router isn't going to help them.

                    Perhaps routers should be issues with wireless turned off by default, so the user has to hardwire it in, unless they know what they are doing?

                    a little bit of googling would help set up a router as well.
                    Thats what you should do is make the public pay at there loss of convience. cause the RIAA wants more power and control over who invents and controls the general public. The internet was created by hackers. People that did not accept something not being possiable. telephones were hard wired too and we know that they were never altered. . . Yet the companys were still paid. So in conclusion the general public has to pay the price cause a company is not making the amount of money they feel they deserve. Maybe we could learn from China how to control it?
                    debro
                    Blown to smitherines
                    Posted on: 08 Feb 10 22:58
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Dun
                      Wireless is not the problem. If the people like RIAA do not want there material, able to be viewed or downloaded. Don't make it availiable on the internet. The people have made the internet possiable. Company's when it was first introduced said it was not a good investment. So bottomline do not look to reap what you missed. Don't use the internet at all do all your selling the old way and nobody can download it. Think about it if you bought an album in 1940 and gave it to your children would you be guilty of file sharing. . .
                      MP3's were regularly ripped & shared on the internet, before IPOD's came out, and well before you could buy music LEGALLY on the internet.

                      The same with movies. Ripping DVD movies is commonplace, and common-knowledge, now. Bluray not far behind, and I'm not entirely sure you can actually buy DVD quality movies on the internet, and you certainly can't buy Bluray quality movies on the internet...
                      there is a healthy market for 25-50GB iso's or BDRips floating around though on torrent sites and Usenet.
                      Mr. Belvedere
                      MyCE Resident
                      Posted on: 09 Feb 10 09:30
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by debro
                        MP3's were regularly ripped & shared on the internet, before IPOD's came out, and well before you could buy music LEGALLY on the internet.
                        Quite true. I do believe it only took 48 hours before FrauenHofer came with their MP3 player and encoder that the internet was already full of mp3's.

                        That's the problem with industry. Not quick enough to adapt their business model to local and global customs/workarounds.

                        Quote:
                        The same with movies. Ripping DVD movies is commonplace, and common-knowledge, now. Bluray not far behind, and I'm not entirely sure you can actually buy DVD quality movies on the internet, and you certainly can't buy Bluray quality movies on the internet...
                        Well there's always amazon, but in general the need doesn't match the supply. Especially on fair prices.

                        Quote:
                        there is a healthy market for 25-50GB iso's or BDRips floating around though on torrent sites and Usenet.
                        Very healthy. And it's no use to block all current traffic. There are already tons of new adaptations ready, and there are still some old programs they can use

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