Google Fiber customers get automatic fines for piracy
Those who choose to obtain music, movies, and other wares illegally will want to think twice about switching to Google Fiber. Some subscribers have reported receiving automatic fines via Google for allegedly downloading pirated material.
Rights holders contact internet service providers (ISPs) all the time if they discover that their content has been accessed or downloaded illegally, and in some cases, they will even issue fines. Normally, ISPs keep these from customers, though repeat offenders may receive a warning.
But Google appears to be passing the notices and fines it receives straight onto its Fiber customers.
“Google Fiber has been notified by a copyright owner or its authorized representative that your Google Fiber service has allegedly been used to access or download copyrighted material,” reads an email issued to one subscriber.
“The notice that we received, identifying the copyrighted material, can be found attached to this email.”
The attachment is a settlement demand from BMG, the fourth-largest music publisher in the world, which represents a long list or artists, writers, and labels, including The Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, and The Rolling Stones.
According to TorrentFreak, which obtained copies of the emails, settlement demands are ranging from $20 to $300. BMG threatens to take legal action against those who don’t pay up.
“BMG will pursue every available remedy including injunctions and recovery of attorney’s fees, costs and any and all other damages which are incurred by BMG as a result of any action that is commenced against you,” the notice reads.
U.S. law states that ISPs are not required to forward DMCA notices onto customers, which is why the vast majority, including AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon, do not send them. Some may warn repeat offenders, but they will retain any demands for money.
But for whatever reason, Google is passing them straight on to its customers. If you are one of them, you should probably think twice before downloading any pirated content.
Google is yet to respond to requests for comment.