A letter sent out by a US ISP warns customers that by engaging in persistent online piracy they will force the company to downgrade their access plan to the minimum, and customers may have problems with controlling various devices, including smart thermostats, which may cause some problems for users in the dead of winter.
In a letter posted by an anonymous user on Imgur last week, the Armstrong Zoom ISP warns customers that if the company receives repeated copyright infringement notices connected to a customers' IP address and account, the ISP will intervene by demoting the user's access plan to the lowest service level.
"Please be advised that this may affect other services which you may have connected to your internet service, such as the ability to control your thermostat remotely or video monitoring services," the letter reads.
Unlike most parts of the world, copyright holders are allowed to send copyright infringement notifications to US ISPs. While ISPs don't have to act on each notice, nor do they have to alert the user or forward the notice, ISPs are required to take action against "repeat offenders."
Actions aren't standardized and vary from ISP to ISP. Some warn customers, some disconnect frequent offending customers, some block access to certain services, some require users to go through a copyright education course, and so on.
In the case of Armstrong, the company decided to change access plan levels for repeat offenders. The letter is just the formal notification of the ISP's plan to deal with such cases.
As the letter points out, if users want to regain their previous account access level, they must read an educational piece on copyright infringement, and sign a document acknowledging they understood what they had done wrong.
Armstrong says it will disconnect the customer if it receives any new copyright infringement notices for his account. If the account owner wants to regain access to Armstrong services following this new complaint, he must then sign an affidavit, a document with serious legal consequences if he engages in copyright infringement again.
A copy of the letter is available below, digitally enhanced for clarity and readability.