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  1. #1

    Blanket media files ban!!

    My latest website has been suspended with immediate effect by my hosts (Fasthosts) after a year as there has been a "severe breach of T&C's", namely I had the audacity to put up MP3 files for download.
    These files were in breach of no Copyright rule anywhere in the World and I have full legal permission by all involved to disseminate them as I saw fit.

    Fasthosts remain "uncontactable" on the matter. Their T&C's have mysteriously changed to disallow any kind of media file being uploaded.

    They are not interested in the rights and wrongs of the matter but seem to be panicking about Copyright issues which do not exist.

    These panic measures seem to be more prevalent than ever before be warned!!!!!

  2. #2
    That's new to me. I haven't heard of any industry-wide reaction yet. Anyway, welcome to WHT, Montgomery.
    Last edited by qoheleth; 06-29-2005 at 08:11 AM.
    "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

  3. #3
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    There could be a few reasons for this type of blanket ban to be put into place, it is not always copyright related.

    Fasthosts offer unlimited disk/transfer so chances are that they are wiping out any site that might actually use a decent amount of bandwidth.

  4. #4
    Originally posted by Wullie
    There could be a few reasons for this type of blanket ban to be put into place, it is not always copyright related.

    Fasthosts offer unlimited disk/transfer so chances are that they are wiping out any site that might actually use a decent amount of bandwidth.
    A valid point.
    But since the site started using more bandwidth I've been in touch with Fasthosts about the possibility of upgrading the account to compensate for the extra usage. To date these mails remain unanswered except by autoresponders. I'd happily pay for extra bandwidth they just don't seem interested.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Montgomery Spliff
    I'd happily pay for extra bandwidth they just don't seem interested.
    Were you on an unlimited plan before they suspended you?

  6. #6
    Yes a Pro account. Offered unlimited bandwidth some months 10-20 Gigs last month 100 Gigs then snip!!!!

    What annoys me is that I expect nothing for free and would happily increase payment they just do not want to know about media files at all.

  7. #7
    ps A friend of mine suffered the same fate a few days ago at the hands of Fasthost abuse team and his bandwidth usage was approx one tenth of mine.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Montgomery Spliff
    Yes a Pro account. Offered unlimited bandwidth some months 10-20 Gigs last month 100 Gigs then snip!!!!

    What annoys me is that I expect nothing for free and would happily increase payment they just do not want to know about media files at all.
    You tell them that you are happy to pay extra to compensate for your actual usage, however they already offered you unlimited so how can they justify the increase in cost to cover the actual usage?

    The problem here is that if they excepted your offer then you would have a case against them in court because of false advertising.

    It won't be the actual usage as such, it's more likely to be the chance that you could use a large amount at some point and it is easier to cancel you before that happens otherwise it's obvious their unlimited is false.

  9. #9
    The more important issue here is that the reason for cancellation cited media files (MP3).

    IF the original terms of service (at the time you signed up) included a passage saying that the terms could be changed at any time without user notification, as many do, then unfortunately you cannot do anything about the situation.

    Although you DO own the copyright to the mp3 files in question, they would have legally changed their TOS to disallow media files altogether, bringing you into breach of terms and eligible for cancellation.

    It's stupid, unethical, and bad business practice... but legal.

    I suggest you look around Webhostingtalk, read other's reviews, and pick a new host that knows how to run their business right

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by kenop

    It's stupid, unethical, and bad business practice... but legal.
    I wouldn't be too sure about that. A clause saying you can change the terms and conditions at any time could very easily be thrown out of court. The only way this could be enforced 100% is if you renewed service while the new contract was in effect.

    Think about it, let's say you offer hosting and charge everyone annually. You run an excellent advertising campaign and get 1000 signups within a few months. You then decide you can't be bothered hosting anymore and don't want to give refunds, so you change your TOS to state that uploading a file is against your terms and conditions. This is in no way legal yet is due to the same issue, it's a change in the TOS.

    A lot of hosts believe that their TOS changing one day can affect a customer doing something against that clause a day later, I would be very surprised if a court would ever uphold the host's case.

  11. #11
    Take a look at any of your credit card terms of service.

    I believe most if not all of them have this very clause. and these are huge companies we're talking about.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by kenop
    Take a look at any of your credit card terms of service.

    I believe most if not all of them have this very clause. and these are huge companies we're talking about.
    Yes and it appears because it can be enforced in some cases, it doesn't mean it can always be enforced.

    The OP signed up for a service and was suspended due to a change in that service, so I would personally say that the OP is in the right legally here.

    However, if the contract was changed before a renewal of service then this would be a different case.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Wullie
    Yes and it appears because it can be enforced in some cases, it doesn't mean it can always be enforced.

    The OP signed up for a service and was suspended due to a change in that service, so I would personally say that the OP is in the right legally here.

    However, if the contract was changed before a renewal of service then this would be a different case.
    You're not a lawyer and you don't play one on TV. Do us all a favor, leave the legal interpetations up to the lawyers.

    To the thread starter, you bought an account with unlimited / unlimited. You got kicked out... tough noogies.

    Best of luck finding a new host... I would strongly suggest staying away from anyone who offers unlimited bandwidth or disk space.

    Sirius
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by sirius
    You're not a lawyer and you don't play one on TV. Do us all a favor, leave the legal interpetations up to the lawyers.

    To the thread starter, you bought an account with unlimited / unlimited. You got kicked out... tough noogies.

    Best of luck finding a new host... I would strongly suggest staying away from anyone who offers unlimited bandwidth or disk space.

    Sirius
    Did I say I was a laywer? If I did then please point this out to me because I missed it.

    I think you need to get off your high horse and stop criticising people for things just because they are not educated in the hosting scene, it's so kind of you to say "tough noogies" to someone that got screwed over. Sorry, but slating someone for that is as bad as the host offering it in the first place.

    Some of us actually deal with legal issues and have to know how some things are handled legally so that we can run a legitimate business. I personally have been through this clause with a laywer because I wanted to introduce a new clause into our TOS but was told that it would not stand against existing customers during their existing term. The reason being that it would have affected the service that they contracted me to provide.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Wullie
    Did I say I was a laywer? If I did then please point this out to me because I missed it.

    I think you need to get off your high horse and stop criticising people for things just because they are not educated in the hosting scene, it's so kind of you to say "tough noogies" to someone that got screwed over. Sorry, but slating someone for that is as bad as the host offering it in the first place.

    Some of us actually deal with legal issues and have to know how some things are handled legally so that we can run a legitimate business. I personally have been through this clause with a laywer because I wanted to introduce a new clause into our TOS but was told that it would not stand against existing customers during their existing term. The reason being that it would have affected the service that they contracted me to provide.
    Like I said, when you BECOME a LAWYER, let us all know....

    The thread starter has an unlimited hosting account... just begging for trouble. Whether they are "educated" or not, is not my, nor the hosting companies problem. Ignorance is not a defence.

    Lesson learned... move on and find yourself another host.

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
    Moving to the Tampa, Florida area? Check out life in the suburbs in Trinity, Florida.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by sirius
    Like I said, when you BECOME a LAWYER, let us all know....
    As I have already stated I personally passed this clause by a lawyer and at least in the UK (Which covers Fasthosts as well) this clause cannot always be enforced.

    I don't need to be a laywer to relay something that I was told by one.

    Originally posted by sirius

    The thread starter has an unlimited hosting account... just begging for trouble. Whether they are "educated" or not, is not my, nor the hosting companies problem. Ignorance is not a defence.

    Lesson learned... move on and find yourself another host.

    Sirius
    They took a company up on an offer that believe it or not is still widely acceptable to a huge portion of people. Many people do not realise that unlimited is a scam, it is in no way the customer's fault for trusting something that huge amounts of companies offer, including the ISPs that many of them use and trust. When a company like AOL offer unlimited transfer, how do you expect Joe Bloggs to know it isn't possible for a host to do?

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by Wullie
    As I have already stated I personally passed this clause by a lawyer and at least in the UK (Which covers Fasthosts as well) this clause cannot always be enforced.

    I don't need to be a laywer to relay something that I was told by one.



    They took a company up on an offer that believe it or not is still widely acceptable to a huge portion of people. Many people do not realise that unlimited is a scam, it is in no way the customer's fault for trusting something that huge amounts of companies offer, including the ISPs that many of them use and trust. When a company like AOL offer unlimited transfer, how do you expect Joe Bloggs to know it isn't possible for a host to do?
    Sorry... I guess I missed where AOL offers unlimited transfer. Can you point that out for me?

    How do I expect Joe Bloggs to know? I expect Joe Bloggs to be a big boy and educate himself before he makes a purchase. If Joe Bloggs can't be bothered with educating himself, then, as I said before.... tough noogies.

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
    Moving to the Tampa, Florida area? Check out life in the suburbs in Trinity, Florida.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by sirius
    Sorry... I guess I missed where AOL offers unlimited transfer. Can you point that out for me?
    http://www.aol.co.uk/products/broadb...num/index.html

    Unlimited Time Online, Unlimited Downloads

    Watch the adverts they have (or used to have) all over the UK TV stations and the exact wording was Unlimited Transfer.

    Originally posted by sirius

    How do I expect Joe Bloggs to know? I expect Joe Bloggs to be a big boy and educate himself before he makes a purchase. If Joe Bloggs can't be bothered with educating himself, then, as I said before.... tough noogies.
    So should a person research into everything related to a hosting company before they signup? The price of their hard drives, the cost to the host for transfer? Afterall, they should educate themself on anything that they could possibly get screwed over on.

    Get real, the normal person will not research into anything like this, they will trust who they believe to be the professionals in the scenario. Just like a plumber fixing a pipe in my house, should I research into everything to do with plumbing before I get a plumber in to do a job?

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Wullie
    http://www.aol.co.uk/products/broadb...num/index.html

    Unlimited Time Online, Unlimited Downloads

    Watch the adverts they have (or used to have) all over the UK TV stations and the exact wording was Unlimited Transfer.



    So should a person research into everything related to a hosting company before they signup? The price of their hard drives, the cost to the host for transfer? Afterall, they should educate themself on anything that they could possibly get screwed over on.

    Get real, the normal person will not research into anything like this, they will trust who they believe to be the professionals in the scenario. Just like a plumber fixing a pipe in my house, should I research into everything to do with plumbing before I get a plumber in to do a job?
    If you can't bother yourself to do the research before you pay for a service, then you are a victim of your own ignorance.

    I think you can try and spin this any way you like, however, the point remains, you need to do research before you shell out money.

    A simple google search for unlimited bandwidth... what does the first link show you?

    I think it's kind of cool you are defending ignorance, really, I do.

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
    Moving to the Tampa, Florida area? Check out life in the suburbs in Trinity, Florida.

  20. #20
    Sigh, calm down gents.

    None of it matters at this point. Regardless of who's in the right, thread starter's immediate concern is to find a new, better host.

    Good luck.

  21. #21
    Ahem, using AOL as an example is...well..a bad example..lol.

  22. #22
    Originally posted by sirius


    How do I expect Joe Bloggs to know? I expect Joe Bloggs to be a big boy and educate himself before he makes a purchase. If Joe Bloggs can't be bothered with educating himself, then, as I said before.... tough noogies.

    Sirius
    Thanks for the condesendence Sirius not only are you an expert on who is and isn't a Lawyer, you're also making a lot of assumptions about me.
    Here are some facts.

    I built my first computer in 1980
    I've always "had" computers ever since.
    I first saw the "internet" in use when it was still an exclusively military and educational network in the 1980's
    I have several different hosting accounts with several different hosting Companies and have done for several years.
    The site in question was for the dissemination of media.
    This media could not be seen to be linked to any of my other projects.
    The media involved two Internationally recognised Musicians with 30 years in the business each in bands with names instantly recognisable by anyone over the age of twenty, cumulative record sales running into tens of millions and a fan base in every Country in the World.
    For future copyright/record contract purposes the website had to be be seen to be no more than a fan site.
    The website has been visited in recent weeks by The RIAA, BPI, Sony, the Vatican, two governments and the US military etc etc.
    One of the artists involved is still under contract to Sony (for previous work with his other bands).
    The site served 63,321 audio downloads and over 30,000 video downloads.
    In the first 24 hours after it disappeared I received over 100 written messages of support and consolation from people as far afield as Japan, Brazil, USA, Australasia, and across Europe.

    This Joe Bloggs is a big boy and runs with some even bigger boys thank you very much!

    As the original post was to serve only as a warning don't try and impress the fact I'm after sympathy, I was simply trying to inform you that whether or not any multimedia is covered by copyright it is becoming a potato too hot too hold for some hosts (who don't have the resources to manually check each item) and once certain bodies show an interest they're very quick to pull the plug.

  23. #23
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    So uhh, why would someone who knows so much about computing believe a company who offers something that is COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE?


    by the way, would you mind sharing your domain name? Sorry if you already told us, but i missed it.

  24. #24
    The best route would be to simply switch hosts, not bicker about your problem with them.
    http://osrhosting.net/
    Affordable website hosting.

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    Re: Blanket media files ban!!

    Originally posted by Montgomery Spliff
    My latest website has been suspended with immediate effect by my hosts (Fasthosts) after a year as there has been a "severe breach of T&C's", namely I had the audacity to put up MP3 files for download.
    These files were in breach of no Copyright rule anywhere in the World and I have full legal permission by all involved to disseminate them as I saw fit.

    Fasthosts remain "uncontactable" on the matter. Their T&C's have mysteriously changed to disallow any kind of media file being uploaded.

    They are not interested in the rights and wrongs of the matter but seem to be panicking about Copyright issues which do not exist.

    These panic measures seem to be more prevalent than ever before be warned!!!!!

    This post is nonsense.

    Firstly Fasthosts has not permitted MP3 files for several years and this has been covered in their Terms and Conditions for several years - so they haven't "mysteriously" changed anything.

    Secondly, they are not "uncontactable", they operate 24 hours a day and you can phone them right now on 0870 888 3600.

    Lastly, if you want a good reliable host I would suggest using someone who doesn't promise "unlimited bandwidth". That's always a bad sign.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by mikeylove
    So uhh, why would someone who knows so much about computing believe a company who offers something that is COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE?
    Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding .... we have a winner!!

    Common sense aint real common....

    Sirius
    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
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  27. #27
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    Originally posted by sirius
    If you can't bother yourself to do the research before you pay for a service, then you are a victim of your own ignorance.

    Sirius
    Wow! I couldnt have said it any better myself.

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Montgomery Spliff
    As the original post was to serve only as a warning don't try and impress the fact I'm after sympathy, I was simply trying to inform you that whether or not any multimedia is covered by copyright it is becoming a potato too hot too hold for some hosts (who don't have the resources to manually check each item) and once certain bodies show an interest they're very quick to pull the plug.
    Montgomery: You may be missing the point some people are trying to make. Your being cut off is not about copyright violations.

    Very likely, this is the reason:
    Offered unlimited bandwidth some months 10-20 Gigs last month 100 Gigs then snip!!!!
    Regardless, if you're willing to pay for additional resources your best bet is to find another hosting service with clearly defined limits and a good reputation.

  29. #29
    Thank you Si Valerie. Some civility at last.
    Being spoken to like I'm an idiot doesn't do it for me, maybe Im just not used to it Professionally or socially.
    So thanks all those who responded constructively or politely, the site in question was only a hobby site and will be left down 'til the Autumn then I'll probably transfer it to my own server.

    As for the others well I just hope that should you ever come across a site or forum which I administrate that you receive the same level of courtesy that I offer all my guests. And if you don't then contact the site admin and demand to know why????

    Unlimited bandwidth may be impossible to buy but common courtesy is free and should be used to the max!!!!

    Goodbye.

  30. #30
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    Originally posted by Montgomery Spliff
    ps A friend of mine suffered the same fate a few days ago at the hands of Fasthost abuse team and his bandwidth usage was approx one tenth of mine.
    What's your friend's web address?

    ..... and what's your web address?

  31. #31
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    I've found this thread a bit late. As a Fasthosts customer, I can tell you they have an "active webcontent" policy that forbids mp3, video and zip files on their servers. Nowadays they allow pdf and I've been told mp3 are being accepted.
    Michele Bugliaro Goggia, designer SUP in visual communication
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