According to reports, Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been automatically forwarding copyright infringement notices to customers who have downloaded copyrighted materials. The notices often offer to settle claims for $20 to $300.
A number of copyright monetization companies, including CEG-TEK and Rightscorp, send thousands of settlement notices to ISPs every month asking for payment. However, a number of other large broadband providers, including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T), do not forward settlement demands directly to subscribers.
In forwarding the notices from CEG-TEK and Rightscorp, Google Fiber tells subscribers that repeated offenses could result in termination of service.
"Repeated violations of our Terms of Service may result in remedial action being taken against your Google Fiber account, up to and including possible termination of your service," wrote Google Fiber.
One of the leading copyright plaintiffs is music licensing company BMG. In a notice to one user, BMG said it would take potential legal action if it could not reach a settlement.
"BMG will pursue every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney's fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by BMG as a result of any action that is commenced against you," reads the BMG notice.
TorrentFreak revealed in a report that while Google is not the only provider to forward copyright notices to subscribers, it is likely the largest to do so.
Google told FierceTelecom in an e-mail that it will send along copyright infringement notices, including the settlement terms, to users in an effort to be transparent.
"When Google Fiber receives a copyright complaint about an account, we pass along all of the information we receive to the account holder so that they're aware of it and can determine the response that's best for their situation," a Google spokesperson told FierceTelecom in an e-mail. "Although we think there are better solutions to fighting piracy than targeting individual downloaders, we want to be transparent with our customers."
- Digital Journal has this article
- TorrentFreak has this article
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This article was updated on May 27 with additional information from Google.