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 Copyright Frequently Asked Questions
 

Is it illegal to download/upload/share copyrighted material using my Verizon High Speed Internet, FiOSĀ® or Dial-up connection?

Copyright infringement violates not only U.S. copyright law and subjects infringers to criminal and civil liability; it also violates Verizon Online's Acceptable Use Policy and Terms of Service. Verizon Online's Acceptable Use Policy specifically states that you must not violate Verizon's or any third party's copyright, trademark, proprietary or other intellectual property rights. For more information about copyright and piracy, please visit the U.S. Copyright Office's website at www.copyright.gov and the Motion Picture Association of America's website located at www.respectcopyrights.org.

What do I do if I receive a copyright violation notice?

First, you should check your personal computer (PC) hard drive(s) to delete any unauthorized copyrighted materials and we urge you to uninstall any peer to peer (P2P) or file sharing software. You can confirm if P2P software is installed on your PC by using the www.respectcopyrights.org website.

How do I uninstall P2P software and copyrighted material from my computer?

You can remove P2P software and copyrighted material from your PC yourself by following these instructions:

Windows Users: If you are using Windows, here are some basic steps to remove P2P software and copyrighted materials:

  1. Go to Start
  2. Go to Control Panel, then click on the Add or Remove Programs and Windows Components, then locate the application name and click the Remove button.
  3. You may also go to Start and Select Search
  4. Select Find Files and Folders
  5. To remove unwanted P2P software, enter the name of the software into the Search window to locate it on your PC. Then press Delete to remove the software.
  6. To remove copyrighted materials on your computer, review the copyright notification sent to you by Verizon. It will contain a file name of the allegedly infringing material. Enter this file name into your Search window to locate it on your PC. Then delete the file from your PC. Repeat this process for each copyrighted work listed on the notice we sent you.
  7. Empty your Trash folder and reboot your PC.
Note: Verizon Technical Support cannot help with the P2P software removal. If you need assistance in removing P2P software or certain files, you may want to consider subscribing to Verizon's Expert Care Premium Technical Support service. To learn more, please visit us at Premium Technical Support.

If you are using a Mac, here are the basic steps to remove copyrighted materials:

  1. Go to Find
  2. Review the copyright notification sent to you by Verizon. It will contain a file name which you have allegedly violated copyright laws with. Please enter this file name into your Search window to locate it on your Mac.
  3. Delete the unauthorized file(s) from your Mac.
  4. Remove trash and reboot your Mac.
We urge you to remove the P2P software used to download, upload, and/or share the copyrighted works; otherwise you may end up with copyrighted material on you PC again.

We also urge you to check your wireless router to make sure you are using proper encryption to prevent others from accessing your connection without your permission. To learn how to protect your wireless router from unauthorized access through the use of encryption, please go to http://help.verizon.net and search for Wireless Encryption. If you have a wireless router, please refer to the "If I am using a wireless router, how do I protect my network?" question and answer, below.

What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)?

The DMCA was passed in 1998 by the U.S. Congress to expand copyright law that applied to traditional media to also include digital media. Additional information about the DMCA is available at the U. S. Copyright office's website at http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf.

What are the RIAA and MPAA?

RIAA is the Recording Industry Association of America. It is a trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry and their artistic musical rights. Among other things, the RIAA seeks to protect the creative expression of artists by protecting their copyrighted materials. For more information about the RIAA, you may access its website at www.riaa.com.

MPAA is the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA serves the American Motion Picture industry and protects motion picture, home video and television production. For more information about the MPAA, you may access its website at www.mpaa.org.

What is the basis for the notice that Verizon sent me? How did Verizon learn of alleged infringing material on my computer?

A copyright owner contacts Verizon to report alleged copyright infringement activity based on certain investigative tools the copyright owners utilize. The copyright owner identifies possible copyright infringers by their Internet Protocol (IP) address. Verizon assigns an IP address to each of our customers for the duration of their Internet session. The copyright owners do not know which customer is assigned the IP address.

What are you telling the copyright owner that has alleged I have violated the copyright laws about me?

Verizon respects your privacy and we will not provide your identity to a copyright owner without first receiving a subpoena or other legal process (such as a court order). When we receive a subpoena or court order to release your account information (name, address, etc.), we generally will attempt to notify you before we provide your information to a copyright owner, as long as we have sufficient time to provide you with this notice. In the case of a notice of alleged copyright infringement, we will not provide your information to the copyright owner (unless it is accompanied by the legal process described above).

How will Verizon notify me if I'm suspected of violating laws?

If you have allegedly violated copyright laws, we will inform you by email, phone messages or written communications. You may also view these copyright notices online by visiting www.verizon.net/copyright and accessing the My Account tool page by entering your User ID and password.

What if I'm sure that I'm not the person who has violated the copyright of the item mentioned?

If you receive a notice of alleged copyright infringement, we recommend that you confirm that the content referred to in the notice resides on your computer and check to see if your computer has any P2P or file sharing software on it. You should also contact any subaccount users of your account and discuss this notification with them. If you have a wireless router, please refer to the "If I am using a wireless router, how do I protect my network?" question and answer, below.

I've lost the notices you sent me - can I view them anywhere else online?

You may view your opyright notices online by visiting www.verizon.net/copyright  and use your User ID and password to access the My Account page. Copyright notices are viewable under the Copyright link on the My Account page.

What are the legal penalties for violation of the Copyright laws?

Copyright infringement subjects infringers to criminal and civil liability.

If I am using a wireless router, how do I protect my network?

There are a number of actions you can do to help protect the security of your wireless router and home network. Below are descriptions of several actions you can do. Verizon Technical Support does not include assistance with MAC filtering, IP blocking, firewalls or advanced networking services. If you would like additional technical support, Verizon Premium Technical Support services are available for an additional fee. For more information, please visit Networking help and support.

Step 1: Hide Your Network's SSID, And Stop Broadcasting It

Computers on your network connect in a kind of two-way conversation. Your network router constantly sends out its name, known as its SSID (service set identifier). Your wirelessly equipped PCs recognize your router's SSID and connect to the router using it. So if someone knows your SSID, it makes it easier for them to connect to your router.

When you buy a wireless router, it comes with a default SSID. That default SSID is the same for thousands, or even millions, of routers that the manufacturer makes. A would-be intruder can search for networks with a few common default SSIDs from the major manufacturers and quickly find your wireless network.

A good line of defense is to change your network's SSID from the default to a unique name that others can't guess, but you should also tell your network to stop broadcasting its SSID. The steps to take for changing the SSID and telling your router not to broadcast the SSID vary from router manufacturer to manufacturer. Your router is now invisible to passersby, but it's also invisible to your own PCs on the network as well, so you need to tell them to use the new SSID. To address this, for each PC running Windows XP SP2, click the small wireless icon in the Windows System Tray and then click the View Wireless Networks button. Click the "Change advanced settings" link in the left-hand column, then click the Wireless Networks tab. Click the Add button in the "Preferred network" section, type your new network name, click OK, and then click OK again. You should now be connected to your network.

Step 2: Use Encryption to Help Protect Your Network from Intruders

Encryption helps keep you safe in two ways. First, encryption prevents access to your wireless network to anyone who doesn't have the special encryption key. Second, it helps stop Internet hackers who try to sniff out specific types of network activity, such as email. There are two basic encryption standards you can use to protect your network: Wireless Equivalent Protocol (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). The WEP protocol is older than and not as secure as WPA, but WEP is generally adequate for most home users and it is considerably better than no encryption at all. To view instructions on setting up wireless networks, please click on the link that pertains to your broadband service: High Speed Internet, or FiOS.

Step 3: Filter Out MAC Addresses

Every piece of networking hardware has a unique ID number, like a serial number, called a MAC address. No two pieces of networking hardware have the same MAC address. A MAC address looks something like this: 00-08-A1-00-9F-32.

You can use MAC addresses to keep out intruders by telling your routers to only permit certain MAC addresses onto the Internet. Thus, you can tell your router to let all of your computers access the Internet and keep out all other computers. For more information about filtering out MAC addresses, please visit MAC filtering.

Step 4: Limit the Number of IP Addresses on Your Network

When one of your computers connects to your network, your router gives it an IP address. Every computer connected to the Internet needs its own IP address to browse the Web. Normally, your router simply hands out IP addresses to any machine on the wireless network, But you can tell your router to only give out a certain number of IP addresses -- one for each computer on your network. If you would like additional technical support, Verizon Premium Technical Support services are available for an additional fee. For more information, please visit our website at Verizon Surround.

Step 5:

One of the best and easiest ways to protect your computer and data from unwanted intrusions is to protect the PCs on your network with updated firewall software. Even if an intruder gains access to your wireless network, PCs and sensitive information should be secure. For more information about how firewalls work and to sign-up for Verizon's Internet Security Suite software, which includes a built-in-firewall, please visit us at Verizon Internet Security Suite.

I have questions about Copyright Violations on my account

You may call the Copyright Notification team at 866-286-6865 for more information.


 
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