Copyright Infringement Notice

The guests were very nice and left the place in great condition. Then I received email from Comcast that we were in violation of the DMCA due to a Copyright Infringement, and that if we keep this up we are in danger of suspension or termination of our Internet service (which we share with our guests for free). It seems that someone downloaded a movie (Interstellar 2014) from an illegal BitTorrent server. As neither my wife nor I did any such thing, I contacted the guest 9 days ago and she answered right away that she would check with her son. Nothing since then.

We have four more days to review, but as is the first time this has ever happened, I’m inclined to ignore it completely. However, as I’ve read in this forum before, you all would like other hosts to be honest about guests, so I’m asking for your advice. Without your advice, I’d give them an excellent review and leave it at that. I think the guest is making a mistake by not getting back to me, but perhaps she is too embarrassed. Not a great excuse, but a human one.

So, what would you do? Suggested wording for the review? Involve ABB? Or let it slide.

BTW, I’m springing for a separate and lower level Internet service just for our guests so our main account is protected just in case this ever happens again.

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Did Comcast provide the date this occurred? Would make sure you have the correct guest. If yes, I would mention in review.


Yes, Comcast specified a date and time, so I’m certain I have the correct guest.

If you’re certain you have the correct guest then I’d include it in the review.

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I would follow up once more with the guest. In many countries that is no laughing matter.

I would also mention it in the public part of the review as I as a fellow host would appreciate being made aware of it.

Surely the only way to prove is via their IP address. I am not sure Airbnb would confirm it for you?

I followed up with the guest earlier today and have not heard back as yet.

I resolved this by getting a router that is able to block this kind of traffic.
It is not very hard, but it requires some knowledge.

I’m not sure about your question. The IP address used for the Copyright Violation is ours as they were sharing our Internet connection as a Guest (without access to any other devices on our LAN). Did you mean something else?

Focusing on this particular instance, downloading from BitTorrent isn’t inherently illegal, but if the content is copyrighted, then downloading it is. So how does the router distinguish legal from illegal content?

If this router can do that, I want one. Can you give me a brand and model #?

No, true, but the chance that you find something legal on a torrent site is quite slim.

I use a EdgeRoute Lite (But an cheaper (newer model) EdgerouterX will also work ).

The DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) identifies and marks torrent packages, the firewall then drops them.
This is pretty efficient. Of course when someone decides to use a VPN they can get past this, but then it is not your problem since comcast will not to be able to see this either.

Minus at least 1 star for Communication.

No reason to involve Air. They won’t do anything to the guest. You have not been fined by Comcast, just chastised. Personally I’d drop it, but leave something like the following Public review.

Public: Guests were clean and polite and generally good. However we cannot recommend them to other Hosts, as someone in their party illegally downloaded a movie (copyright infringement) which caused us to be “put on notice” by Comcast, and Guest has not acknowledged the fact.

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I thought each individual laptop, tablet phone etc. had their own IP address. You should be able to see what device it was downloaded to. I am no expert but I can see what devices have been accessing my router, and can eliminate my own devices, thereby identifying guests’ ones.

Yes, we all have an IP address, in fact we might have several. Everybody on my LAN has a unique IP address within the LAN, in my case of the form 192.168.0.nnn. This address is local to my LAN, not global to the internet such as the one my cable modem has – this latter IP address is shared by all users on my LAN and is the only publicly visible IP address for all users on my LAN. All Comcast sees is the one public IP address – it knows nothing about my LAN users. The router connected to the cable modem uses a scheme called Network Address Translation to match up the incoming packets with the correct recipient.

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So the point is can you prove who did the illegal download?

I am certain as to which family initiated the illegal download. However, that conclusion comes from knowing who rented our place when the infringement occurred, not from the IP address. There is no way to tell which family member did it.

That said, the smart money is on the son ;).

I’ve added this to my house rules after the same type of notice:

  • Downloading of copyrighted files is not allowed

I think restriction access to file sharing programs. The odd guest has some trouble with wifi because of it, but it’s easier to deal with a random request to forego the restrictions then it is to deal with the potential of losing service.

This is how you can do this on an Edgerouter. If you understand half of what they are describing, you are able to do it yourself.

Had the same thing happen only I got many notices from Comcast because my guest was downloading all night long! I did not confront the guest because I’m a single woman renting a room in my house and did not want confrontation with a male guest. None the less, I didn’t put it in the review of the guest because it was a “shame on me” for leaving my WiFi so open! Lesson learned. But I agree it’s a real slap in the face when you get that notice and you know it was not you!