NBC Universal is reportedly singing a different tune when sending out warnings directly to file sharers subscribing to ISPs not participating in the Copyright Alert System.
NBC Universal is one of the many copyright holders involved in the just-launched "six strikes" plan set out to educate alleged pirates. ISPs involved include AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner and a few others. Typically these ISPs dish out a number of warnings before downloaders are swatted on the hand and the six strikes revert back to zero.
But outside the supporting CAS group, NBC Universal is threatening substantial monetary damages, criminal prosecution and Internet disconnection. TorrentFreak has received several notices issued by the company to BitTorrent users alleged of downloading copyrighted content. These notices are a 180-degree turn from the friendly educational notices offered by CAS participants, immediately opening communication with the downloader by warning of "serious legal and other consequences".
"The illegal downloading and distribution of copyrighted works are serious offenses that carry with them the risk of substantial monetary damages and, in some cases, criminal prosecution," the letter states. "Copyright infringement also violates your Internet Service Provider’s terms of service and could lead to limitation or suspension of your Internet service."
As the site points out, consumers residing under the CAS wing are treated differently than those subscribing to ISPs that are not participating in the program. Eventually the former group will face "mitigation" measures, but now there's a question as to which approach will be more effective in curbing piracy.
The NBC Universal notice provides two ways the alleged pirate can change his/her ways before the company's legal hounds start biting: stop downloading or uploading any film or TV shows owned or distributed by NBC Universal without authorization, and permanently delete from all computers all unauthorized copies that may have already been made of these movies and TV shows.
"You should take immediate action to prevent your Internet account from being used for illegal activities," the company states.