I really thought several times about posting this article because I have to admit, it involves me picking and choosing my morals at the buffet of life.
About a year ago, I discovered that I could download Television programs rather easily using a program called TED and uTorrent. TED acts like the TV Guide on your DVR and uTorrent is the mechanism by which the program is downloaded to your computer.
For the most part, I have kept to downloading programs that are from the major networks. Personally, I had no problems with this. For me, it was akin to my Father-In-Law recording Deep Space 9 and sending it to me when I was stationed in Japan. Justification, maybe.
This setup worked very well until I discovered PlayOn and Hulu. PlayOn acts as a Video Streaming service that will take streams from Hulu and distribute to either my Xbox 360 or my Archos TV+. This became my “preferred” method because I was playing within the confines of copyright laws.
However, PlayOn is sometimes spotty, so I still used the other method as a “Backup.” That is, until I got this email from my internet provider:
I have removed all of the activity from my Network as I do not want to deal with this. Unfortunately, Hulu will become a subscription service in 2010. I believe now, my new goal is to create a Media Center PC.
Dear ****** Online Customer:
We are writing to advise you that ****** recently received a notification from a copyright owner of a possible copyright violation that appears to involve your ****** Online account (the "Complaint"). The work(s) identified by the copyright owner in its Complaint are listed below.
We are contacting you because our records indicate that the Internet protocol (IP) address provided to us by the copyright owner was assigned to your service on the date and time identified by the copyright owner. While this activity may have occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, or perhaps by a minor who may not fully understand the copyright laws, as the primary account holder, you are legally responsible for all activity originating from your account.
Copyright work(s) identified in the Complaint:
Copyright infringement level: 1
Notice ID: 19168235
Title: Parks and Recreation (TV)
IP Address: **.***.***.*
File Name: Parks.and.Recreation.S02E03.Beauty.Pageant.HDTV.XviD-FQM.avi
File Size: 183265068
Timestamp: 10-03-2009 07:38:14 UTC
Copyright infringement is a serious matter that violates U.S. copyright law and subjects infringers to criminal and civil liability. It also violates our Acceptable Use Policy (http://www2.******.net/policies/acceptable_use.asp) and Terms of Service (http://www2.******.net/policies/tos.asp). If you, or someone using your Internet connection, are engaged in the conduct alleged by the copyright owner, we urge you to stop (and ensure that anyone else who might have access to your Internet connection also stops).
Protecting Your Privacy: The copyright owner has not asked ****** to identify you, and ****** will NOT provide your identity without a lawful subpoena or other lawful process. However, if the copyright owner does issue a lawful subpoena or other lawful process that seeks information about your identity or account, ****** will be legally required to provide the requested information to the copyright owner.
If you have questions regarding this notice or would like to view Frequently Asked Questions about copyrights and piracy please visit us at www.******.net/copyrightfaq.
We appreciate your cooperation on this matter.