ETC & DMCA
To avoid legal liability when customers repeatedly infringe copyrights, internet services providers like ETC must, according to the DMCA, implement a notification and termination policy.
“DMCA” stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is a federal law that seeks to balance the rights of owners and users of copyrighted digital material.
Of course, we do not want to terminate the service of any customer, which is why we forward notices that we receive from copyright owners to our customers so they can either take steps to stop the noted sharing or posting of copyrighted file. Or if they believe the notice is in error, they can contact the copyright owner and dispute the claim.
Under the DMCA, there are two types of copyright infringement claims that may affect ETC customers:
- The first and most common type involves the illegal transfer or sharing of copyrighted materials over ETC’s network.
- The second type involves the illegal placement or posting of copyrighted materials on ETC servers or hosted websites.
- The first Notice of Infringement will make you aware of the copyright infringement and give you guidance on what you can do to prevent further infringements.
- A second Notice of Infringement associated with your account will result in a $25.00 fee to cover our administrative costs.
- A third Notice of Infringement associated with your account will result in a $50.00 fee to cover our administrative costs and suspension of your internet service. We also require an explanation of the steps that you are taking in order to have your service reinstated.
- A fourth Notice of Infringement will result in termination of your internet service for a period of twelve (12) months. We will evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis.
ETC faces consequences for repeat Notice of Infringement violations, and we hope those who receive a notification take this matter seriously as well. We will never share any of your personal information with the content owners who send notices unless required by law or court order, and we do not monitor your Internet activity.
I’ve never downloaded an illegal version of copyrighted material. How could I have received this notification?
Someone else, inside or outside your home, may have uploaded or downloaded the material in question using your service. Consider the following steps:
- Check computers and other devices in your home for the copyrighted material listed in the letter you received. If you find that material on one of your devices, delete it, determine how it got there, and take steps to help prevent it from happening again, as detailed below.
- Make sure that your Internet connection is secure, especially if you use a wireless router. To secure your connection, check your router, ensure that the connection to it is encrypted, password protected, or limited to use by computers that you know and have authorized. For best results, consult the documentation that came with your router. Additionally, because wireless routers typically come with standard usernames and passwords – such as “admin” and “password” – you should make sure that you change these to new usernames and passwords known only to you.
- Make sure that anyone who has access to your Internet service is not illegally transferring copyrighted material.
- Your computer may be uploading copyrighted material to others without your knowledge. Many file-sharing software packages are configured so that any files in your “shared folder” are automatically uploaded and provided to anyone who requests them. If your computer has copyrighted material in a shared or otherwise accessible folder, move that material to a secure folder.
What do I do now? How do I resolve this matter?
You should delete the files in question and take steps to ensure that additional copyrighted material is not illegally downloaded to or shared from your computer. See suggestions above.