Comcast Settles BitTorrent Throttling Lawsuit

Comcast has settled a $16 million class-action lawsuit accusing the Internet provider of preventing customers from sharing files via BitTorrent. The suit alleges that Comcast sold users “unlimited” internet access that was, in fact, quite limited. Comcast still admits no wrongdoing, and affected customers will receive up to $16 each as part of the settlement. Ka-ching!

The problem is that Comcast blocked torrents wholesale, and many files shared through BitTorrent–open-source software, independent music with a Creative Commons license–are perfectly legal.

The lead attorney in the case, Mark Todzo, said the settlement should serve as a warning to other service providers who share Comcast’s complaints that a small number of subscribers generate vast amounts of traffic through their avid use of file-sharing programs.

“It tells (other ISPs) they can’t engage in this behavior,” Todzo said. “The writing is on the wall.”

Well, metered broadband serves the same purpose and is probably more lucrative than throttling heavy users’ uploads.

Comcast settles data discrimination lawsuit [AP]
Hart v. Comcast [Official Settlement Site]

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The Comcast Throttling Scandal And Its Consequences, Summarized