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MPAA Kills Town's WiFi Over One Movie Download

If you think the music industry and Hollywood aren't serious about cracking down on pirates, then think again. Recently the city of Coshocton, Ohio felt the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) wrath after one local citizen decided to download a copyrighted movie. The MPAA tracked the downloaded and had the town's municipal WIFI terminated.

“It’s unfortunate that one person ruins it for those who use the service legitimately,” said Commissioner Gary Fisher. According to the Coshocton Tribune, Sony Pictures Entertainment was the company responsible for finding the breach, and promptly notified the county's ISP, OneCommunity. The county's free wireless Internet was originally launched five years ago, and spanned the block surrounding the County Courthouse.

Elizabeth Kaltman, vice president of corporate communications with the Motion Picture Association of America, said that illegal downloads would be prosecuted as a civil case, and could cost the offender huge fines up to $150,000 per offense. But determining who actually downloaded the movie is somewhat of a problem, as hundreds of people use the offending IP address.

Currently it doesn't seem that the WiFi connection will return online. IT director Mike LaVigne discovered a program that could prevent illegal downloads in the future, however the country doesn't have the funds in the budget, initially costing $4,900 and an additional $900 per year to maintain the filter.