On Wednesday, we discussed news that AT&T had begun sending takedown notices to users whom the RIAA has accused of illegally downloading copyrighted works. Cox and Comcast are both cooperating with the RIAA in that regard as well. However, while Cox seems willing to shut off service in the case of repeat offenders, Comcast denied that it was considering a similar penalty, and AT&T said they'll flat out refuse to terminate service on the RIAA's word alone; it will take a court order. They seem satisfied with the effect letters have had on inhibiting such downloads: "'It's a standard part of everybody's terms of service,' [AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi] said. 'If somebody is engaging in illegal activity, it basically gives us the right to do it ... We're not a finder of fact and under no circumstances would we ever suspend or terminate service based on an allegation from a third party. We're just simply reminding people that they can't engage in illegal activity.' Cicconi said the company began testing this kind of 'forward noticing' late last year and even experimented with sending certified letters. Cicconi said the notices worked. The company saw very few repeat offenders."
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