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This company, Rightscorp,  has convinced 140 small and medium sized Internet Service Providers (With Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and other big ones on their wish list.) to kill the internet access of entire households or companies based upon the mere allegation of copyright infringement by somebody using the IP they've targeted for extortion. No legal proof is required by the ISPs to determine if their allegation is correct.

As RightsCorp's "Letter to Shareholders" dated April 25, 2014 indicates, they have convinced ISPs to block the internet access of 65,000 potentially innocent households and small companies. If you have a small or medium sized internet service provider you could be next on their hit list.

Imagine your ISP puts up a notice on all of your home or company computers when you attempt to go online. The notice states internet access is blocked because of piracy, and will only be unblocked when you pay a fine, starting at $20.00 per song, TV episode, movie, ebook, or software you've supposedly infringed upon.

Let me stress the fact that this is being done without any proof that copyright infringement has actually  occurred by those ISPs who've decided to cooperate with this extortion scheme.

To give Comcast credit they have refused to comply with this by keeping your access intact. They just forward an edited copy of the alleged infringement information, which has been stripped of any threatening language. Based upon Comcast's customer service history, I'm somewhat surprised they're doing this, but at least it's a step in the right direction for them.

Extortive collection attempts alleging copyright infringement, frequently against innocent people and companies, is a rapidly growing business model.

This isn't the only company doing this. Far from it. There are many others that are now scanning your internet posts for photos you found on Google Images, Instagram and other popular photo/image sites and quite innocently assumed, as most people do, they were ok to to put on your Facebook stream, Google+ Photos etc.

Contained within these photos and images are digital watermarks and metadata which can be easily discovered. Extortive companies and law firms are now sending threatening demands for payment of substantial amounts, with added threats of legal action to follow when/if you don't comply.  Do you know how to check if you've innocently shared an image containing one of these "watermarks"? Bet you don't, like the vast majority of people using the internet. That's what these extortive scumbags, who expend most of their efforts pursuing and threatening innocent people, are counting on.

I suggest you let your ISP know that you don't pay them 100s or thousands of dollars a year for them to act as collection agencies for extortionists, and shutting off your internet access without legal proof of any sort would cause you to incur personal and business damages.

Access to the internet is a necessity these days and should be treated as a public utility, in my opinion.

My suggestion if you receive one of these threats is to take legal action against your ISP and the company initiating the extortive threat.

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Why People Believe Car Insurance is Not "Mandatory in New Hampshire

Over the years I've heard the statement, "I don't need car insurance in New Hampshire because it's not mandatory." or similar comments countless times. This statement is not correct when the potential legal and financial consequences of not having car insurance in NH are considered.

Many states, with Massachusetts being especially applicable because of its proximity and number of people who move to NH from MA, require proof of insurance if you want to register and get plates for your car. In fact, most states will issue an expensive violation if you can't produce immediate proof of insurance. NOTE: This applies to NH residents who don't have insurance and get stopped out of state. No proof of insurance = $$$ violation. I believe the current violation in MA is a $500 fine or the cost of 1 year of legal minimum insurance coverage, whichever is more. They don't care NH doesn't legally require you to have proof of insurance readily available - you're in their state and their laws apply!

In New Hampshire you do not need proof of insurance to obtain a car registration. That's it - you just don't need proof of insurance to obtain plates. This leads many people to believe that you don't have any legal, State of NH regulatory, or financial need to obtain auto insurance. The truth is far different, as the penalties and financial burdens imposed can be much worse in non-mandatory insurance New Hampshire than in many Mandatory Insurance states.

Here's what can happen if you're involved in a minor at-fault accident without insurance in NH, or even a not-at-fault accident if the state deems you unable to "demonstrate that you are able to provide sufficient funds to meet New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements..." (from the NH Insurance Dept web site, referring to NH Statute RSA 264);

OK, back to the problems faced by people driving without insurance in New Hampshire who get involved in an accident;

1.) Suspension of your license and the registrations of all cars you own, if you can't prove you're financially responsible as mentioned above. My guess is that "financially responsible" means you have sufficient liquid assets immediately on hand to pay out of pocket $25,000 per person for any injuries, $50,000 per accident for all injuries, and $25,000 for damage to others property. That's sure a lot of liquid assets for most people I know. (I have about $3.00 in liquid assets in my pocket right now for coffee, but I do have insurance that would satisfy the State of NH.)

There's no such thing as a perfect driver - consider the moral and emotional impact of a relatively minor accident if you hurt somebody, and can't even be sure their medical bills are paid. Should you really be on the road driving an instrument of potentially deadly destruction if you're unable to protect others from your driving activities?

2.) You will probably be required to obtain an SR-22 filing through an insurance company (an SR-22 is legal proof of insurance and "financial responsibility") for up to 3 years. If your insurance lapses while the SR-22 is in effect so does your license and registration. If you're stopped by the police you can be now be charged with driving after suspension, considered a major violation. More $$$ and possible arrest, with you being publicly handcuffed on the roadside and taken to one of the county jails. Once you make bail, a court hearing and associated legal expenses will soon follow, if you decide to hire an attorney to represent you in court.

3.) You will be held personally, financially responsible for all damage and injuries to others. You can end up being placed on a payment plan, making payments to the state, who then reimburses the other party, for many years. If you skip payments, forget, or are just broke you can once again face license suspension  with all the consequences previously mentioned, with the fines being increased and the time involved trying to get your life back to normal being extended.

If you have a job that requires a drivers license, or there isn't anybody to help you get to work the impact on your job can be very negative. Think of all the other things you need an active license for in today's ID crazed society.

4.) The other party's insurer will be looking to collect from you for any payments they made to their insured if a repayment plan has not been established with the state. Even though you may now have satisfied the State of NH and other person's insurance company your real problems may have just begun. Some people will gladly sue if they believe you have any assets. If you don't have any assets the cost to defend yourself from a fraudulent or inflated suit can still run into the tens of thousands of dollars, or more. You will be solely responsible for the cost of defense out of your own pocket, without benefit of legal advice unless you can pay for it. If you lose the case, you can lose a lot of your life, with the forced sale of assets, garnishment of future wages,  liens on a bunch of your stuff being just a few of the potential consequences.

Don't think because you have nothing that the State, court system, insurance companies and others involved in your accident will just forget about it. They won't.

My advice? Get at least the minimum amount of coverage needed to meet New Hampshire Financial Responsibility laws. I know this can be expensive for many people. But, I've seen what can happen when you don't have at least a basic "minimum liability" car insurance policy in New Hampshire and the amount of damage done to you and others can just about wreck your life for years to come. It's just not worth it!

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