Comcast, defender of Internet freedom and friend of the little guy (don’t laugh)

Comcast is helping the little guy avoid getting screwed. For once.

The massive media conglomerate is refusing to comply with court-ordered requests to deliver the names and contact information of its customers to porn studios. The studios claim that Comcast’s clients have illegally downloaded their pornographic movies, and plan to use that information to sue the individuals for cash.

Comcast, which provides video, voice, and Internet to millions of Americans, has inspired numerous hate websites including Comcast Sucks and Comcast Sucks Balls, and routinely ranks high in the list of companies with the worst service. But with this latest stand, Comcast could actually be seen as a friend of Internet privacy.

Realistically, the reason Comcast is standing up for its customers’ privacy is probably less altruistic than practical.

For the company, dealing with the courts is a major (and costly) pain in the posterior. Hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent lawsuits, many but not all of which are from porn studios seeking damages for pirated videos, have been winding their way through the hallowed halls of American justice over the past few years.

Enough is enough, say Comcast’s lawyers.

Well, since they are lawyers, they actually said “plaintiffs should not be allowed to profit from unfair litigation tactics whereby they use the offices of the Court as an inexpensive means to gain Doe defendants’ personal information and coerce ‘settlements’ from them.”

Unscrambled, that means they don’t want foreign and domestic porn studios using Comcast as a proxy for badgering randy Americans into massive cash settlements.

Whether Comcast is doing this out of the goodness of its heart, concern for its clients, or simply because dealing with all these cases is an expensive, draining hassle hardly matters. The good news is, someone is finally stepping up to protect some level of privacy.

At least, in this case, if you’re downloading naughty videos.

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