Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Paul Ohm

Second Advisor

Dale Hatfield

Third Advisor

Preston Padden

Abstract

Comcast took a controversial decision by targeting P2P (peer to peer) specific protocols to control congestion in upstream traffic over its network. In 2008, FCC required Comcast to stop and reveal details of their current network management practices that violated Network Neutrality obligations. Many concluded that Comcast’s actions were against Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard. However, rules of network neutrality, a policy statement architected by FCC cannot be enforced. And IETF, a standards body does not control Comcast’s actions. This research focuses on a hypothetical infringement suit which shows how an internet service provider could be liable for infringement, when it deviates from IETF’s protocol standards and while controlling copyrighted material over its network. Due to a lack of clarity on standard violations with no legal implications, Title –II of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or Safe Harbor laws are devised, defining the role and activities of a service provider. This law seems to be a solution to help resolve conflicts between copyright owners and service providers.

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