CEG-TEK’s growing list of participating ISPs, and their NEW alliance with COX Communications.

[2017 UPDATE: Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system.  Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.  Since the two entities are continuing where CEG-TEK left off, namely adding ISPs such as AT&T, Frontier, Hawaiian Telecom, Optimum, and Winstream, this article is relevant because it also applies to RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT.]

I am observing “shifting sands” when it comes to the number of internet users who are getting caught in the web of CEG-TEK DMCA-based settlement demand letters.

For almost two years, I have been telling people that there are three internet service providers who are working with Ira Siegel — Charter Communications, SuddenLink, and CenturyLink. This has been true, and continues to be true.

I have also told people that if your ISP is participating in the “Six Strikes” anti-piracy system — specifically, Comcast (Xfinity), Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision — then there is nothing to worry about (because these ISPs are no longer forwarding Ira Siegel’s DMCA settlement demand letters, meaning that there is nothing at the moment to settle).  This is NO LONGER TRUE.

In recent weeks, I have observed Comcast (Xfinity) infringement notices sent to subscribers in spite of the “Six Strikes” system being in place.  [The Comcast notices contain relevant infringement information, yet only reference the “CEG-TEK Case Number;” Comcast has, however, neglected to provide the password so that the accused downloader could visit CEG-TEK’s website to determine what claims they have against him.  The unintended consequence is that in order to see what claim(s) CEG-TEK has against the accused subscriber, the subscriber would be forced to contact CEG-TEK directly to obtain the password corresponding to the Case Number (thus exposing his identity, and potentially incriminating himself when answering questions). Direct communication with copyright trolls is a big no-no, as you know it is my opinion that communicating directly with them is a bad idea because their goal is to extract a large settlement from you on behalf of their clients.]

As for the 100+ small and mid-sized ISPs who did not join the “Six Strikes” system, with hindsight, we now know that CEG-TEK has spent the last two years on an aggressive campaign to enroll as many ISPs to work with them as they could… “to stop piracy,” of course.  While it was surprising to us is that CEG-TEK went after Giganews and a growing number of VPN providers (finding the downloaders where the downloaders allegedly reside), the breaking news is that CEG-TEK has signed on COX Communications to send Ira Siegel’s DMCA letters to their subscribers.

Again, just in case you missed it — COX COMMUNICATIONS is now working with CEG-TEK.

Cox Communications has literally millions of subscribers.  They were almost expected to be part of the “Six Strikes” system, but then they declined to join keeping them free of the “Six Strikes” rules.

On a personal note, Cox used to annoy me when various copyright trolls would sue their subscribers. Instead of housing a subpoena department internally, they used to outsource all of their business relating to their subscribers to a company named NEUSTAR, a company that was complicit and merciless in turning over the records of hundreds of accused defendants in the copyright trolling lawsuits over the years.

In sum, with this article I take back a number of things that I thought almost two years ago, namely that the Six Strikes system would kill CEG-TEK’s business.  As you can see from the list below, CEG-TEK has responded to the “Six Strikes” system by focusing their efforts on growing the number of ISPs who are working with them.  Now that they have Cox Communications on board, this will be a problem for many thousands of users in the months and years to come.

Below is a list of ISPs who have been known to forward Ira Siegel’s DMCA settlement demand letters.  This list is obviously incomplete (and I have no intention of updating this list), but what is important is that two years ago, these ISPs were not working with CEG-TEK.  Now they are, and accused internet users are receiving notices of infringement instructing that they visit CEG-TEK’s website and settle the claims against them.

LIST OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS KNOWN TO WORK WITH CEG-TEK:
AeroSurf
AirtranNet
Arvig
Ashland Home Net
Bloom Broadband
Blue Ridge Communications
CenturyLink
Charter Communications
CondoInternet
DigitalOcean
EPB Fiber Optics
First Communications
GigaNews
Google Fiber
Hotspot Broadband
Internet Services of Cincinnati (ISOC.net)
MetroCast
Midcontinent Communications
Mid-Rivers Communications
Morris Broadband
NeoNova Network Services
OlyPen Cable
PenTel Data (another name for Blue Ridge Communications)
ResTech
SuddenLink Communications
ViaSat / Exede Internet
StrongVPN
Whidbey Telecom
WildBlue (service through ViaSat)

UNIVERSITIES KNOWN TO FORWARD CEG-TEK SETTLEMENT DEMAND LETTERS:
Rice University
Columbia University
Cornell University
Stanford University
University of Michigan
Wisconsin University
University of Alaska


UPDATED COPYRIGHT ENFORCEMENT GROUP (CEG-TEK) ARTICLES (from this blog):
Canada begins receiving CEG-TEK DMCA settlement letters. (3/12/2015)
How time limits / purged records stop a copyright holder from learning a downloader’s identity. (12/18/2014)
CEG-TEK’s growing list of participating ISPs, and their NEW alliance with COX Communications. (11/12/2014)
The Giganews VPN Problem (11/12/2014)
CEG-TEK is now your friendly “photo” copyright troll. (6/13/2013)
CEG-TEK’s new “you didn’t settle” letters sent from Marvin Cable. (3/22/2013)
CEG-TEK’s DMCA Settlement Letters – What are my chances of being sued if I ignore? (2/22/2013)
Why CEG-TEK’s DMCA settlement system will FAIL. (2/22/2013)


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

27 thoughts on “CEG-TEK’s growing list of participating ISPs, and their NEW alliance with COX Communications.”

  1. This does raise a question in my mind, that very scary place, about how they are getting so many on board.
    I am sure some decided to forward these ‘notices’ out of ignorance.
    I am sure some decided to forward these ‘notices’ out of fear of lawsuits.
    One does have to wonder why a larger provider would willingly participate in what is an alleged lawfirm circumventing the actual law in favor of their own system. One might wonder if they engage in profit sharing or providing information.

    Copyright law is imperfect, but it is the law of the land.
    This ‘endeavor’ uses the DMCA to send demands for payment for allegations made by ‘something’ (I have no evidence that it is NOT a magical potato that whispers the names of the evildooers to Ira) that they violated copyright.
    There is an entire legal process when copyright is violated (something something back to imperfect) and this short circuits it in favor of getting payments for allegations backed with threats of worse if you don’t pay up today.

    They stand to earn thousands for filing a lawsuit, yet opt for fractions of that amount. Something appears to be very off about this, and it is a shame that the actual legal system has yet to take a pointed look at these sorts of homebrew self-help bypassing the law.

  2. Hi, thanks for all the information provided. I just have a quick questions. I got three emails about 2 titles (2 forwarded by Comcast, 1 forwarded by my university, the one forwarded by the university is about the same title as one of the emails forwarded by Comcast) about the scary letter. Since the emails forwarded by Comcast didn’t provide any passcode, I just ignored those (So no visit to CEG-TEK’s website at all). The one my university forwarded to me does included the passcode, so I logged in using my laptop, see the amount they want to settle ($300) and logged out, I didn’t choose to settle or whatsoever. I looked one of the copy right owners (as I don’t know who the other one is) on http://www.rfcexpress.com/, and found the most recent lawsuit is on Sept. 16, 2012. Given those information, will I be sued by either CEG-TEK or the copyright owner? Thank you so much

    1. The Comcast e-mails still have CEG-TEK claims against you (even though Comcast did not forward Ira Siegel’s letter demanding that you pay them). As for whether you will be sued, we’ll need to look at who the copyright holders are. E-mail me at [email protected] and we’ll take a look at it together.

  3. Hello! Please respond, someone, if you can. I read the article and was slightly confused. I recently received a letter, signed “Sincerely, Ira M. Siegel”, and I’ve been looking at things since then trying to figure out what to do. I haven’t checked the claim on their websites or anything, but reading another person’s comment, I know I probably can’t pay what they’re asking. Will I be sued? Is there someone I can talk to about this? I’m horribly anxious right now, and if someone could get back to me that would be great.

  4. “in order to see what claim(s) CEG-TEK has against the accused subscriber, the subscriber would be forced to contact CEG-TEK directly to obtain the password corresponding to the Case Number (thus exposing his identity, and potentially incriminating himself when answering questions). Direct communication with copyright trolls is a big no-no, as you know it is my opinion that communicating directly with them is a bad idea because their goal is to extract a large settlement from you on behalf of their clients.]”

    This is true. However, a great risk is still there even if the password is provided.

    Realize this is Ira M. Siegel ou’re talking about, and his ethics just do not exist.
    http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/tag/ira-siegel/

    He like almost all of these attorneys engage in “honeypotting”. That is, they put up the files themselves on bittorrent so they can see who else is sharing them. That’s pretty questionable especially when their settlement letters describe any or all such sharing as unauthorized or illegal. Putting the file up themselves could be deemed to be voluntarily publishing it in that medium, especially if there is no copyright notice or other indication (which could in theory be in a domain name or a tag or a file included in the torrent) that the material is copyrighted and not for anyone’s use without a license.

    Given that practice, it would be reasonable to conclude that any visit to CEG’s settlement website is also logged, so that the IP numbers of the visitor can be added to the list of known IP numbers for the alleged violation, and eventually reveal the user. Basically, “phishing” since this means of gathering evidence is not disclosed nor is there any caution about this risk in the “settlement offer”.

    So while calling CEG up from an anonymized phone or using a throwaway email has its risks, visiting their “settlement offer” website puts a fresh IP in their hands. One they almost certainly run through their logs to see what else it may have downloaded, and if they have the rights to send yet another “warning” for it. And which they can try to associate with a name by any of a number of means.

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