The battle between those who hold copyrights on content and the people who want to download them illegally is a constant one. At times, copyright holders will employ firms like Rightscorp, which attempts to punish illegal downloaders by contacting their Internet service providers and chucking DMCA threats and fines at them.
However, that requires ISPs to play along with Rightscorp. There’s one that doesn’t though: Comcast.
Comcast has become somewhat of a thorn in the side of Rightscorp. Here’s how it works: Rightscorp will send a DMCA statement to the ISP pertaining to a downloader’s activities, which includes all sorts of threatening language. Comcast, in turn, takes that statement, strips out all of the threatening text, and instead turns the statement into a report that essentially points out what the ISP’s customer did. This includes stuff like a timestamp, what they downloaded, an IP address, and the site where they downloaded it from.
Comcast’s inactivity on the matter could be a measure to protect its user base. Any ISP that assists firms like Rightscorp by targeting its user base is clearly in danger of losing that customer and driving them straight into the arms of another ISP.
Considering that Comcast is a huge Internet Service Provider in the U.S., it would be interesting to see whether other ISPs will follow Comcast’s lead down the line.