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#118 A Pirate In Search of a Judge


One day, Cayden received an email from their internet provider that said "stop pirating TV shows or we'll cut off your internet!" Cayden had no idea what they were talking about. So Alex decided to investigate.

Further Reading

Vulture's recap of "Old Loves" (Girls Season 5, Episode 4)

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better, for Listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your pot casts. From gimlet visitor player, I'm Alec Scope and I'm together in this way today we have super tech support these segment other show where people right into us, with tech support issues that are just sort of beyond the scope of what they can solve themselves and then I very he briskly try to solve those problems. So what problems from his office? this one's from a listener whose name is Kaden, they use they them pronouns and there the exactly
Director of a non profit in Oakland add a couple of weeks ago. Kane started getting these really confusing ass, the first email I got on February. First, at eight eighteen, P, M local time. The email was from Comcast Kaden is a Comcast subscriber, and it said Kaden had been illegally downloading a specific television show. So it says the infringing work is girls, the HBO programme, friendliness, Dunham, theirs We have file name, and so it's girl season, five as sewed four and seven hundred and twenty DP age tv which absorb girls. Is that so that episode, Fran and Hannah Fight, Desi and Marny fight, because does he put up a wall? the apartment and then just to have sex with Adam. Ok, none of that is in the notice it gives the infringement date, and it says the type and method is bit torrent it gives the
p address and a case number. So. Kaden is at this point totally baffled, because Kaden doesn't use bit torrent and they already have HBO. How do you feel about the showgirl? I have seen some episodes of it and actually of former remade of mine had like watched it inside to couple episodes with her and like. I am not him. Arrests and so and is being accused by Comcast of using a program that never used to download a show They don't even like my first was the email, my roommate, so I live to roommates and I just afforded attended the next day. With with the comment. This is a really rude email and what the fuck and then we're like this is news to me at like one of them was like look, I don't even I've never even used bit torrent my life, and this is like really accusatory, abrupt like what's going on and very quickly got even worse later that same day, Comcast sent more emails accusing
hidden of downloading the same girls episode to more times and the emails just kept coming so three on the first day, four five, six seven I got lake eat in the first week seven, eight nine ten in the second week they do, they all say exactly the same thing. Yet this exactly the same thing, the only things that change are v the infringement date and then the reporting party case, but there same file on bit torrent and the body of the emails. The same so far, Caden has gotten a total of twenty four of these emails, which are called dmca notices. Twenty four letters: Comcast telling Kaden that they ve illegally downloaded this particular episode of girls. Wake. I tell you say about dmca noses what I got one always
for what download? I will just say that I was accused of downloading Hi maintenance from HBO which is only where, because I have HBO programme applying and I wanted it on the plane, but they got me and the glitter they woke up on a ceremony and my internet was down. I dialed kicks the plug or something, and I called the virus like hey, there's our in their alike. About that- and it was like a warning thing- was this your first time? time, so they were Lake UNICEF because other number unlike apologize, and then two new internet back on, but next time it will be a day I fear that it will be a week which site that's actually extremely annoying. How stresses Kaden about this honestly cadence pretty stressed out because, according to the Comcast website, if you get enough of these notices, your internet can be disconnected for no less than six months. That's very severe! Yet totally
So what have they tried? So far too, like solve the problem on their own, I mean the first thing that came tried was just to make sure that their wifi was secure. They changed the wifi, password very basic security staff. I then decided I was gonna call the number. That's that's listed in an email, Further Comcast customer Security Assurance Ochre Centre and first called them, I got a person, but he was like hey. Can you call back and like an hour at about six miles down the wrong number? No, I think it was the right number because I'd like clicked on it from my that, might you mail on my phone and then I did call back like a day later and and got a human who had the time to talk to me, but the person on the phone just did like super element, suffocated already done just you know like. Are you sure, you're wifi, secure stuff? in it honestly kind of pissed off. I was like
as part of my job. Like I teach people about internet security. Like. I would think that I would know if somebody in my household were doing us well, you know turn over some stones and see what I can figure out core task. It are, I think so I kid I thank you. Talk you buy, nine. It's been a yes. What are you aren't I've learned This is a high profile to set, and the problem is that kid king came to me because they were convinced that this was a mistake. They were innocent and they wanted me to prove their innocence in internet court right
But the problem is, I don't know where internet court is like. I didn't know who I was supposed to appeal. Their innocence to my first step was to call Comcast because Comcast sent them the letter in the first place, yeah my name's Alex Golden. My my journalists, but when I called Comcast it was like. Hey there's been a mistake here: Comcast was sort of like we don't think, there's been a mistake. That must. Let me turn slot mistakes on that, because, if not sunk into a man Ali its assistance to tat whenever the copper confidence been downloading, ok but would have made a mistake- There is nothing else to do at least not at least no honour on the Congo company in she told me that if is a mistake. It's not something that their agents can determine. What gives you know give you the information of the fifty four to make your help was more secure, basically you're, just a messenger yeah. That's that's a really good way to say it, but they're, not just the messenger like they're turning people,
internet off right. They will turn it off, but they say they are not the ones who decide if you're guilty or not- and I spoke to Emory Brady, who is a professor at the university right now and the next. Copyright law and she says that what Comcast told me is actually right. It is not Comcast! You find me Here's a movie studios and recording label will often higher the digital forensics companies. So I'd never heard of these companies before, but they help places leg, HBO Consonance. And deaf jam by searching the internet for pirated material is a company that had payment for working in the space of right, cork and major, then thousands and thousands of notices these robots generate thousands of notices. And they are sent onto the Irish Sea, and the thing that didn't occur to me before is that it's not like Comcast wants to send these dmca notices, because when
You have to shut off someone's internet there, just losing a customer. So then, why do they do it well The reason these are called DMCA notices is because there's a thing called the digital millennium copyright ACT and glad that you know about this. So the DMCA lays out rule that super foundational to the internet, which is basically if people use your platform for copyright infringement. You are not legally responsible for it as long as you try to act on it. If people upload movies to Youtube Youtube, isn't responsible as long as they try to take them doubt: gotTa Comcast, responsible. Unless the author laying it happened right, but who decides how Agora they have to be its very early laid out. The law simply says that the platform owners need to take what called appropriate action ah and no one here ever really defined. What appropriate action is for an eye s p and only reach?
ITALY. Did they define what appropriate action isn't. So there's this internet service provider called Cox, they have six million customers or something like that. And Emory told me that, a couple years ago, this music publisher Biagi was trying to get Cox to tell customers that they'd been caught downloading illegally and that the customers had to pay money to get out of trouble caught it like that. They noticed it had. Gentlemen demands in them, and so at a certain point, Cox just stopped processing notices that they are receiving from right court wow. This, of course, really pissed Biagi off, so they suit com basically for not disconnecting enough people in the court sided with the record company and the reason they sided with the record company is because they got all these internal commune, given all these internal emails from Cox being like. I know we have to disconnect a couple people, but less aren't really disconnected
also, let's just leaving disconnected for like a month and then we'll just get them back, got it in the court found that has Cox, wasn't doing enough about people pirating stuff on their platform. Cox is now responsible for the pirated works. Okay, so the point with Comcast is they have to take these noses seriously because otherwise they didn't want to end up in the same way patients Cox right. So that also means that I'm not going to be able to convince Comcast not to enforce this. So I figured if I wanted to plead his innocence to anybody. I would try contacting the digital enforcement company that accuse them of downloading this episode in the first place, and fortunately in the email that Kaden got. That said that they download this episode. Girls, there is, line that says reporting party or something like that and next to that it says: Voebel Voebel like mobile with heavy, ok, so voebel
as I now know, is the company that HBO hired to look first stolen episodes of girls so We could actually be there like entity that made a mistaken misidentified Kaden right. Well, here is what I now I talked to the CEO of Opel. His name is yet been wing, and when I told him about the letter that Kaden got, he was like really Kaden got a letter from us. I'm surprised at you now, because you were not typically were Bob Bob Savage Business we do have come another brick identification technology Emma for many other technologies, but we are not in a position again treated notification ruggedness. This was really confusing to me because what he said is that they wouldn't go after someone like hidden. They were interested in getting the big dogs, people and Web
sites that are sharing tons of pirated stuff, rather than just the people who are downloading it. So then, why did voebel target kitten? I asked Yang been that and he was like I'm not really sure we did target kid there might be, One hour's lighting don't acknowledge. We do something that I am not a word So do you think that is possible in this case that you're someone might have licensed your software and used it to identify someone who is using a torrent, cubby. So maybe someone else was using voebel software to go after Kaden Yang been wasn't sure, but either way he said. Look our software so. Someone is stealing this episode of girls and I think you should looking occasions. Home internet likelihood would be wifi now aggravation use,
maybe you could be a lot of which are used at all. He came with wifi water. How these funds are to be inspired by coming to home, he could be used by other people. So Voebel says we don't make mistakes and we can help you anyway, com. He says we don't think this is a mistake and we can help you anyway. I contacted HBO and they told me they don't discuss their piracy measures with journalists. So at this point I was just super frustrated like I tried and tried, and I could not find a person who is willing to hear cadence case so then what so? Finally, I find this website that is called the centre for copyright information. And was that it is a website that has run by both the entertainment industry and the I s, peace there working together and the deal is, if you feel
you ever wrongly received a dmca notice. You can go to this website, pay thirty five dollars and you can appeal it and, if you're successful they'll. Let the eye is Pino. They were wrong, were tracked it. And you shouldn't have any strikes in your account. You found internet court yeah found internet court. So are you taking the case in, I sent them an email and said hey this person, Kaden was wrongfully accused and what did they say they didn't say anything they never got back to when I got it so big, what I found was like a completely unaccountable system that was forestry. LEO Pick, it was a maddening, so I decided to try something else:
after the break. I take justice into my hands This episode is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from eighty p hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes
better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working forty you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck, took some flyers business cards. In a week later I had a business and H our role breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. You wanted to proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends about. You ought to be able to feel like you're, making a difference. You'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get your pockets. Welcome back to the show before the break Kaden had been accused of pirating an episode of girls and they were worried that their internet was going to get shut off.
And they were worried that their internet was going to get shut off, and I was just trying to find the right person to tell that this was all a big mistake. I tried their Eyes P Comcast. I tried voebel the company that built the sun where the caught them. I tried HBO the owner of the show that the allegedly downloaded- and I tried and internet copyright court that I'd never heard a before, and no one can help. In fact, pretty much everyone who did get back to me told me the same thing. This is probably cadence phone. You should check their home network check their router, so I got an expert to help me. Do that Nate Alex? Yes, you sound amazing. This is nay per drama networks for a company, that's called awesome jar and San Francisco and they specialise in doing security like hedge funds and venture capital firms, so just to outline what the issue is, I caught him up on what was going on in this case, and I wanted to know if he could check out Keynes router
if there is any way to see if someone had broken into it and download it an episode of girls, and he told me that actually there is away that's one could be using cadence internet without being anywhere near cadence house? Okay, so you ever been in, like a train station and seen in x, finicky, wifi, wireless access point. You ever then doesn't work right, but Nate said that if you have username and password that is provided to buy Comcast. You can log into those in use internet, it's actually that they They re use all that. Cable modem, that everybody's houses, that they provide service and they give out wifi access as part of the service but hold anyway, so does my cable modem I have expended. He does my cable mode. Have like a like our guest access, that people are just pay he backing on my wireless, oh yeah, if you go I am so mad right now go home and and look
available wireless networks and you'll, see network called ex wifi. Sinnate told me When I get a Comcast modem and I install it in my house, I can set up a wireless access point for myself, but in addition to that by default, my modem also broadcast a public wireless network completely separate from mine that anyone with a Comcast account can connect to really yeah. It's not like they can connect to my network but they get a little bit of the bandwidth that my that my modem gives off. That is scandalous, and not only that apparently, some people in California sued Comcast because they were Like the electricity that powers my modem, some of its used to your benefit, I don't want you to use that we, that is credible petty airy, but so are so that's why you there's wifi access points in like airports and train stations. It just gives Comcast users like Kaden,
the chance to use the internet when they're not at home here, but that does not explain the whole girl because it's not like Keaton, was going to airports and translations and like putting their if I usually even password app inviting people to download girls and then forgetting that they done it yeah. But then Nate raise that idea to me that kind of blue the whole thing open it through the whole thing open for. I just why no other think openers that's actually how my data my grandparents talk with, doesn't mean right. Are you done things? cut it out for second, I could actually tell the solution all this, which is that Nate told me there's a chance that Kaden has what's called a sub account was so count as some account would just be like second username and password like you might make one for your roommate or for a friend or someone in that person could also use it when they're not at home. Every time they get on somewhere, they're gonna get an ip address,
associated with cadence account. So every time that person, fine a modem that offers this access to activity and they log in then give it an ip address that is associated with cadence account yeah and it would make sense, If that IP address were sharing files doing something wrong from the is standpoint that Kaden would the notification about that account. So if kid even had a roommate like eight months before, and they remain a bit like. Oh keys had to suffer me, I'm always at grand central station. I want you to Comcast thing: they be going around the world and legally downloading girls twenty four times a month from all these other occasions. It would have to be at the house right, so Katyn called a friend that they know who works at Comcast. There's like yeah, you have a sub account, and so I came
like yeah, you have a sub account, and so Some account does this and who left the whole thing go. Had, I say as our grandfathers as we, so he could they look at Kate Insane be like the sub account was create ed he could they look at cadence and be like the sub account was created. The sub account belongs to Kaden's ex roommate. And on that My name is L. Hello crisis out yesterday, hey? This is our common? Hey do an m god. How are you in Berkeley now she is studying to become a midwife and first thing I asked her was just like: are you are familiar with this girl's episode? The episode in question is called old, loves and in this episode Hannah?
in France, get into a fight because hand she's, not rigorous. About the way she grades papers Desi and mourning get into a fight. Because Marty Few says she need some space and then Desi builds a wall in the apartment and Marty gets resentful, and then just an atom have sex. Does this emphasis ring a bell to you, and only part that brings about the pride of like building that separation in the room at you. That so it's not something that you watch twenty four times now there is not a single out is that they want more than one. I can assure you EL told me that she is not computer savvy that she doesn't know how to use. Bittorrent has never used bit torrent and I asked her like, Do you remember anything weird about the internet when you are living with Kaden anything at all and she said no but
Then she was like. Ok. Maybe this is information. You can use a couple years ago I was seeing this guy. It was like not serious slowly and mostly just like hang out of my bed and watch movies and at one point something we wanted to watch. We couldn't find that through any legal means- and he ended up down. Loading like, I think, I'm calling you torrent or something like that. Like she said he downloaded this programme, that was called you torrent, we're just another torrent client and downloaded the show. She told me she didn't think it was a girl's episode, but she'd look into it and the next day she reported back to me, I went on my laptop and aid to the girl and found I offer a growl, even five episode for recycling.
You think so was in no way being malicious. She did not mean to cause Kaden to get these notices. But when she moved into her new apartment, she was trying to connect to the internet and saw someone's expenditure, wifi, wireless n, She already had the sub account username password that you got misusing cadences. She just use those to get on the internet over them. Why did she download that observe girls? Twenty four times? I have a theory about that. Ok, so the notices workers for downloading Girls- that one time I think L was inadvertently uploading girls. She was accidentally opening your torrent.
Every time he opens it. The torrent programme is like hey. I'm gonna share this with whomever focus away. Torrents work is like you, you don't the option of just downloading files. You have to I mean. Maybe there's workaround but is set said, upset you're, always uploading stuff. Unless you turn it I imagine that it was probably somehow set to start on start up right it that also explained why she's getting in trouble now, because, if you think about it, two years ago, when she first started operating this episode, they're, probably tons of other people operating putting, but it has two years has fewer people that are still sharing in order to save girls, so she's, like possibly one of the last operators, which makes our big target. That's possible, but I mean you just got busted for of relatively recent show that also in HBO, maybe they're detection just got better right, but in any case now that she No, I dropping Kayden Kaden should be on a hot water right, so called Katyn and told them when I learned so L to her credit has
deleted. You torrent has deleted the episode for her computer. You should never experienced this problem again. Brilliants. Well, guy. We figure this out and I'm I'm satisfied by our discovery here. This is not how I wanted this to end like I do. Not like the idea that, for war and Comcast An HBO like they were all right. Leg is like when you just like: try to contested speeding, take it, and then they show you the picture I'm sorry, but but and forces in this situation seem to be on point the system's working. You're so mad about this is the working well yeah. I just like it felt like you get away with stuff a few years ago, and now I think you can even jaywalk I mean, if you do your internet to get disconnected, you could just not pirate. Do you pirate too? I pirate. Yes, the answers, not now
Yes, the answer is no, but I benefit from other people's piracy. Do you watch pirated material? Oh yeah, then you pirate, someone else, does the pirating. I just watch the stuff off his computer Yahoo. Pirate, who I really didn't, expect to be able to figure that out and you put a hoss, think open. You are truly insufferable yeah? reply always hosted by Peter Vote and me Alex Golden shares produced by.
We keep eliminating, feel abandoned damietta, Marcie and Caitlin Roberts. More production help this week from The Ripple and Elizabeth Cool ass are editor our team Howard and serious errors, in fact king, by Michel, Harris are in turn is Devon. Gwynn we were mixed by required, theme, song is by the mysterious break master cylinder additional music. This week, from Bobby Lord, the endings export theme is simplicity by macro for special thanks. This week to Javier Nunez, suspicious grim woman in John MC care. That labour is that weak. Where it finally get warm and that the last of the snow melts you can visit our website all that limo and you can find more Besides the show on Spotify Apple pie, gas or wherever you listen thanks for listening, we'll see in a couple weeks. The word
Of their work, we're never getting a box to graduate Why that acts as a result of what I have to watch the first six to understand at air? A look of it and beat up in the treaty of Lisbon. Enlargement will bring them back to those nice by gasters if we're gonna get back about inside the piano, having found anything elsewhere check it out, to strengthen the bottom active pull out a couple of it there actually acoustic a strange really never use. Those knows
you play, base showing earlier oh yeah I'll get the beach. I was good maybe they're more things on the piano witnessed.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.