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Years ago before Net Flix or Apple TV was commonplace as a refrigerator in a home, folks would download full-length movies or whole TV series illegally. One of my roommates at the time was just doing that and as a result, my cable Internet provider shutdown my service abruptly.

I called and inquired about the disruption to my service and was transferred to the appropriate department to discuss the matter. The lead technical supervisor was reviewing some file names of lengthy downloads and saw that they were movie files. I was let off with a warning and was told to discontinue any future downloads of copyrighted material.

Fast forward to present day, I received a letter stating to delete any pirated movies and software from my computer. The backside of the letter detailed file transmission of movies that were downloaded. I don’t have any recollection of this because I travel. The letter was addressed to me because I’m the account holder and the one who pays the bills while my roommates and who ever has the password has access to my Internet.

As you can see, you have to ensure that your roommates are using the Internet properly. Here’s some things I do to ensure just that:

  1. Always password protect your Internet. You don’t want anyone off the street just camping out in front of your house and using your Internet connection that is registered to you.
  2. Warn your roommates about the consequences for downloading pirated software and movies.
  3. Get a VPN so your data transmissions are private so that you can freely surf the web anonymously.(I’m not doing this).

I did some research on the matter and according to several articles I’ve read, it’s very difficult to prove(without a doubt) that the registered owner of the internet is the one responsible for downloading copy righted material. So there’s very little chance that this one-time incident could lead to any further trouble.

Also, if you’re ever instructed to send money to settle the so-called infringements out of court, don’t send money. According to data points on this reddit thread, it’s a method to extort money from consumers. This tactic is mostly from copyright trolls from who look for people downloading adult material illegally and sends a letter to the cable provider who then passes the letter on to you. The copyright trolls hopes that the letter scares you enough to settle their claim out of court by sending money. Don’t send money.


This post isn’t intended to scare “live-in landlords” and that Internet shouldn’t be shared. It’s about ensuring that Internet is used properly and not for distribution or gain of copyrighted content illegally.

Has anyone else encountered this problem while they were “live-in landlords?”

{ 1 comment }
  • Sophie November 5, 2016, 2:49 am

    For a while, I had to keep my wifi password to myself. I’d type it into their devices for them but any guests they had were not allowed to use it… this is because a boyfriend of a former room mate used to camp out, outside of my house, in his car, and use my internet.

    He was downloading things illegally and when I got the notice from my internet provider, we had a bit of a house meeting about it and I talked to both of my room mates. Both denied doing it and I believe that they were genuine. When I changed the password, this stopped and I stopped seeing the car parked outside of my house.

    In case of future issues, I do tell them (and it does specify in my lease) that the internet is mine and that it’s not part of the lease agreement so that if I ever do have a persistent offender, I can just stop letting them use my wifi. Thankfully, it has never come to that.


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