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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