Newsday reports Cablevision has threatened broadband customers about file sharing:
- Cablevision’s high-speed Internet service, Optimum Online, has warned its customers that uploading files using baby Napsters could violate the terms of service.
Optimum Online’s warning emphasizes that Napster’s successors strain its network. But, without even mentioning the word “copyright,” the advisory also satisifies the recording industry’s growing concerns about copyright infringement.
Services such as Kazaa and Morpheus, allow Internet users to download not only music but also movies and software – potentially huge files – from the computers of others who participate in the service.
To obtain music, a computer user generally enters a song title or singer and then downloads the music file from the hard drive of another user of the software. The file is usually stored in a shared directory, available to other users through an upload.
Cablevision says the setup essentially makes a home computer a server – a violation of the contract. A server is a computer that receives and sends information upon request, much like a waiter takes an order and brings the food to the table.
….While many people using Kazaa may have the same songs, music-seekers will first tap those with high-speed connections such as Optimum Online because they’ll receive the song faster.
“It really puts a tax on the broadband infrastructure,” said Wilson Craig, spokesman for Cupertino, Calif.-based Packeteer Inc., which offers network management software.
Part of the reason uploads are taxing is that a pipe carrying Internet traffic can only send or receive at any given time. Like turning a beer bottle upside down, either beer flows out or air comes in. With cable Internet access, centrally located equipment is configured to give priority to downloads, traditionally the bulk of traffic. But music-sharing software involves significant uploading.
Besides being a really bad marketing move, this action would seem to violate their own advertising:
- The Optimum Online warning comes despite Cablevision advertising that touts the ability to download music.
“With Optimum Online, you can access and download MP3s … in just minutes,” Cablevision says on its Web site.
The advisory against using the service annoys an otherwise satisfied customer in Port Chester. “I don’t know how they can say it’s an unlimited usage thing and then say they can limit your upload rate,” said the 26-year-old, who asked not to be identified.