Do Not Panic When Your ISP Falsely Misidentifies You For Illegal Downloads

Depending on what side you are on, one of the biggest problems on the internet today is the proliferation of illegal downloads. What started as a small problem over ten years ago has turned into something that has blown up over time. And when it comes to this problem there are no good guys and bad guys to be found. There are just two sides that have antagonized each other over time. And that is why we are where we are at right now. Right now we have two groups who are ready to try and stop each other no matter what the consequences are.


The fight over illegal downloading over the internet started a few years ago with the advent of Napster. A lot of people think that the iPod was the first MP3 player out on the market. That is just not true. There were many MP3 players before it they just did not hit the market level that the iPod did. Even the original iPod did not blow up overnight. It was when the iPod was able to be hooked up to a Windows machine that the item started to blow up. But there was a problem before and after the iPod was released. The music companies that were big at the time did not want to release their music in a digital format. They like the fact that CD’s were making them so much money and they did not want to give up that aspect of the business. But they forget the number one rule of the market, when someone wants something they are going to get it anyway that they can. And so we saw the a creation of Napster and people got in the habit of trading music since there was no other way that they could get it.

When the record companies learned about downloading they wanted to stop it. So they went about suing the very people who loved their product. And that decision turned out to be a big mistake because the music industry is in a huge slump now and it still has not recovered from that decision. So companies that make movies are trying to go about it in a smarter way so they are teaming up with ISPs around the world to give people a strike system. You get a few chances to get caught downloading an item before any legal action is taking against you. While this is a better solution than the one that they had before there are still downsides to it. And the downside is the fact that people are still able to connect to another person’s internet to be able to download the files.

Yes, there are people who are out there that will connect to your internet just so that they can download their favorite movie. And you will be blamed because it is your ISP address that the media companies are seeing. But you do not have to panic if this happens to you. First of all you can show your routers log to show that someone else was connected to your computer during that time. Also you can explain to your ISP that you have none of the software needed on your computer to be able to download files in this manner. And if it gets worse than that and you really did not do what they are accusing you of you can always take it to court. Just make sure that your kids or someone else in your household did not download the files without telling you. That happens all of the time.

So do not panic if you are sent a letter saying that you were caught illegally downloading. It could be a mistake and so take the necessary steps to clear up the mistake.

photo: johntrainor

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Don’t forget, you have the right to remain silent. Do not admit guilt. This is how most of the money seekers try to get you!

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