back to article Comcast proposes P2P 'bill of rights'

As the FCC continues to investigate its choke hold on BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer file-sharing traffic, Comcast has proposed a "bill of rights and responsibilities" for P2P users and internet service providers. The big-name cable ISP is already partnering with one P2P outfit on the project - the New York-based Pando …


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  1. David
    Paris Hilton

    *Hysterical Laughter*

    I had to comment. It's just too damn funny. They refer to the MPAA as the "Motion Picture Association of America", and in the same sentence, refer to the RIAA as the "Recording Industry Ass. of America".

    Just proves to me that our article writing El Reg overlords truly do not like the RIAA.

    Paris, because she knows all about Recording

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Mectron

    how about a customers bil of rights

    1. Customer have the right to the FULL bandwith they are paid for

    2. It is illegal (and punished by multi million $ fine) to throttle the internet

    3. Company who have oversold need to be force by law to provide the service they have sold

    4. IP address are private and the digital mafia (MPAA/RIAA) have no legal right of any kind to beak/enter a customer computer and then ask ISP to ID it.,

    5. Internet shall be free of censoring and remain neutral.

    Here that should fix the net.. ho wait a minute... there is nobody goverming the USA. just puppers who do the bidding of greedy illegal no chance of this happening....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Pure political pandering...

    Technology should rely on clear and open standards, enforced by technological means such as ACLs. At no point does any of this involve cartoonishly named "bills of rights". Calling it that demeans the original document. For example, I like my inaliable right to free speech much more than my "right to seed BitTorrents".

  5. Aubry Thonon

    My bullshit quotient...

    ...just went through the roof.

    Comcast lost the plot a long time ago - they are not selling specific software services, the are not selling "email access" or "web-site access", they are selling "internet access" at a specific speed (at a specific quantity?) for a specific price-per-month. And now they are trying to wrangle and bullshit their way out of that responsibility.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Psychotic damage control

    First they fake reset packets then they lie about it then they say their doing it some other way thats pretty much unacceptable to everyone. Now this bold faced attempt to get everyone including the FCC (who they told off) to let them off the hook you know they wouldn't be doing this if it didn't look like something bad was going to happen to them. I have a novel idea produce the product you sold the public and shut up.They will never do it though they have to have an angle it's sick.

  7. Steven Knox Silver badge

    Loaded Questions

    "We want to ask questions like: Does an ISP block peer-to-peer just because its peer-to-peer? Or are there ISPs who are willing to say 'We're not going to block P2P if we know it's good P2P'?"

    So they admit to loading the question with the presumption that a P2P app should have to prove it's "good" P2P. How about this question?

    "Does an ISP have an obligation to provide its customers with the bandwidth they're paying for, with full disclosure of any limitations or restrictions or logging of IP addresses and/or traffic or data mining or association with monopolistic royalty collections agencies (or snoopy government agencies)?"

  8. Robb Topolski

    Users? We don't talk to our users!

    Yesterday, Comcast Corporation and Pando Networks announced that they will lead the industry to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" for users and ISPs. With an FCC hearing on Comcast's anti-peer-to-peer practices scheduled for later this week, this is hardly a surprise. Once again, Comcast makes another sweetheart-sounding deal, but at the wrong time, and with the wrong sweetheart.

    It takes a special kind of arrogance for a company that sells Internet Access to team up with another company that sells Content Delivery and together decide what rights and responsibilities that the world's Internet users should have.

    As in its earlier "deal" with BitTorrent, Inc., Comcast's announcement today doesn't change any of the facts it faces: in 2006, it assured Congress that network neutrality laws were not necessary, saying it would not "deny, delay, or degrade" its customers in order to deal with traffic congestion. Within a year it was caught secretly doing exactly that! Even after a long string of deceptive and deflective statements and tactics, Comcast continues to degrade their traffic today.

    As was the case in the BitTorrent "deal," neither Comcast Corporation nor Pando Networks represents the millions of customers and other members of the Internet community who were impacted when Comcast secretly launched its anti-P2P attack.

    Yesterday's announcement comes less than 48 hours from the US Federal Communication Committee's public hearing at Stanford University. There, the FCC is scheduled to hear from two panels of experts followed by two hours of public testimony on the Comcast incident specifically as well as similar industry practices in general.

    And, to add insult to injury, Comcast proves once again that it doesn't care about its customers. It shut them out of the first public hearing, and now refuses to meet with them at the second one.

    I'm tired of saying "Comcast is arrogant." Can I just say that they have king-sized balls?

  9. Tom Silver badge

    The Bill of Rights...

    1. Give us money

    2. Use services that pay us more money for working access.

    3. See #1

  10. Robb Topolski
    Thumb Up

    @Mectron, re Bill of Rights, Online Privacy Rights

    Hi Mectron:

    You have the right idea. A bill of rights outlines the rights citizens ALREADY have, and protects them from the government from yielding its unbounded power over the people that they serve and regulate. I agree with you there.

    As to #4 -- an IP address is not private, but communications coming from an IP address certainly might be intended to be private and that intention should be respected.

    I would change your version #4 to say that -- with the exception of law enforcement executing a judge-signed warrant, or acting to the urgent prevention of imminent serious harm or death (attempted suicide, for example), the privacy of the users' identity and the content of his communications is the paramount consideration. (I'm not sure of the exact language to use, but my version is meant to give Internet users and their communications the same rights as telephone users and their communications).

    The important thing is that ISPs should not be at odds with the interests of their customers and their communications. Currently, they are -- whether the motive be for profit, savings, or whatever. This cannot continue.

    --Robb Topolski

  11. Robert Smits

    Colour me Sceptical

    Suggesting Comcast could come up with a bill of rights for peer to peer users is like suggesting Colonel Saunders (of Kentucky Fried Chicken) could come up with a bill of rights for chickens.

    North America is rapidly losing any lead it once had in telecommunications and information technology - and mostly because existing providers see increasing demand only as an opportunity for squeezing more and more cash out of their existing customers without making any substantial investments in increased bandwidth that could spawn a whole new generation of applications.

  12. Michael

    Well, I suppose that could work for them...

    It's a simple 6 step plan, without the dangerous ??? stage.

    1. Sell a product unable to achieve its stated performance if people actually use it. Hope they don't and deny everything until overloading becomes noticeable.

    2. Team up with lawsuit-happy organisations and a few carefully selected companies to provide a system that watches to see if it's carrying traffic for P2P that isn't "playing nicely with consumers".

    3. Interpret "not playing nicely" as any data packets used by a competitor's product or attempting to conceal its contents.

    4. Watch all your heavy users leave for friendlier waters.

    5. Continue to sell product to a user-base that doesn't take advantage of it, delay no-longer necessary network upgrades.

    6. Profit.

  13. kain preacher Silver badge

    Holds nose up

    Damn some thing stinks. Crap I just bought these shoes .

  14. Solomon Grundy

    BIll of Wrongs

    I can't stand blatant pandering of shit like this. As a U.S. citizen it's like being sodomized by your grandma, and as a human being it's just flat demeaning.

    But the fact of the matter remains. People think Internet access is so critical that they'll put up with this sort of shit. I dropped Comcast over three years ago and I'm happier for it. Sure, I spent 19+ months on dial-up, but it was sort of refreshing. It reminded me how much useful information could be distributed at 36k. Now that I've got DSL (with an odd little company called Frontier) I'm reminded of the blazing fast speeds that are possible and how fast utter shit can appear on my monitor.

    If my employer didn't pay for my Internet service I'd be back on dial-up within 24 hours.

  15. Andraž Levstik

    Hmm the temparature in hell either dropped rapidly OR...

    @Robb Topolski

    Erm according to the european parliament an IP address is personaly identifiable information though sadly they haven't made that a law it's only a recommendation. Thought it should be made legaly protected against IDing people on it unless it's due to heavy crimes i.e. sexual predator, murder, treason etc... or life emergency: suicide and such...

    The industry effort comment is hilarious as well.. what industry effort... sheesh... the industry would burry p2p if it could...

    As for all internet users I'm assuming they are again making that all == USA and there's nothing outsid e of that...

  16. Rob McCann


    It could all be so much better -

  17. Spleen


    As soon as you see a company - or any private organisation - acting like a government, run. Run far away. Greenpeace does this. The RSPCA does this. And Comcast is doing it now.

  18. Paul Smith
    Paris Hilton

    Presumption of Guilt!

    I am intrigued by the presumption that P2P has 'legal' or 'good' usage. Why not apply the same to images. Comcast could be made responsible for monitoring all images which cross its networks because some of them might be kiddy fiddling, or even worse, some of them might not have the rights holders explicit permissions!

    Paris because it is the best tosser image available.

  19. Theresa Jayne Forster

    Bit Torrent isnt just for pirates

    Well one question, does that mean I have to pay more to play World of Warcraft ? or how about to download the latest community edition of SuSE Linux?

    Both of those are distributed via the BitTorrent protocol, Blizzard uses BitTorrent to deploy its update patches, and you can get SuSE via torrent. I am sure other software firms also use BitTorrent to distribute their wares, What will that mean to those companies when their distribution network is being curtailed or blocked just because of the technology they chose to implement as a means to reduce stress on their own servers?

    I wish the ISPs would grow up and tell the RIAA and MPAA to go get lost,

  20. Gilbert Wham


    War what now? I use my bandwidth for watching porn & pirating videogames. And so do you. Don't lie.

  21. Charlie van Becelaere

    Gales of derisive laughter, Bruce

    mine's the one with the wattle in the pocket.

  22. heystoopid

    I wonder

    I wonder if the fools realise , by doing it that way they are also making themselves fully liable legal wise at a future court date !

    Oh what a tangled web they weave !

  23. Peter Bradshaw

    Comcast as a fox

    Brer Fox would sure like to go the Comcast route, and be put in charge of guarding the henhouse. Perhaps he needs to get the right lobbyist.

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