Offering Free WiFi Could Land You in Jail

Ketty Colom, ActivEngage

By Ketty Colom

There’s a chance that not many have heard of the new “Six Strikes” copy­right alert sys­tem, a new pro­gram that is being rolled out soon to crack down on ille­gal web pira­cy — down­loads from Mega, Bit­Tor­rent, etc.

The big Inter­net Ser­vice Providers (Ver­i­zon and Com­cast) are behind the push to stop these down­loads, which accord­ing to a report in New York Mag­a­zine, costs the econ­o­my about $58 bil­lion annu­al­ly.

How does this Six Strikes rule work?

Ars Tech­ni­ca report­ed some details on exact­ly how the oft-delayed six strikes pol­i­cy will work in prac­tice [last year]. Basi­cal­ly, there are three “stages” Inter­net Ser­vice Providers will go through before tak­ing action:

  • a “notice” phase that “involves let­ting users know they’ve been tracked on copy­right-infring­ing sites”
  • an “acknowl­edge­ment” phase in which “the cus­tomer will have to actu­al­ly acknowl­edge hav­ing received those notices”
  • and final­ly, the “mit­i­ga­tion” phase where “users who have trad­ed copy­right­ed files are actu­al­ly pun­ished” through either hav­ing their speeds throt­tled or block­ing access to cer­tain sites.

How does this affect my deal­er­ship?

This may sound like it doesn’t per­tain to deal­er­ships, but it does to those who offer free Wi-Fi in your wait­ing areas.  If your cus­tomers are reg­u­lar­ly down­load­ing or dis­trib­ut­ing pirat­ed con­tent from your estab­lish­ment, you could be liable.

The solu­tion?

This rule applies to res­i­den­tial inter­net con­nec­tions, so it may be time to upgrade to a busi­ness lev­el-inter­net con­nec­tion.

Learn more about this rule by read­ing this FAQ.

Ket­ty Colom, a Social Media Spe­cial­ist for ActivEn­gage, can be reached at kettyc@activengage.com. Read the full arti­cle here.

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