Downloading music or movie files from the internet without paying for them violates federal copyright laws, and you could be penalized for illegal file-sharing. Use the quick links below to navigate to a section of your choice and learn more about copyright violations.


Copyright Violations

Receiving a Notice

A Notice of Copyright Violation or a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) email notification   indicates Charter Communications was notified by a copyright holder alleging that your internet account was involved in the exchange of unauthorized copies of infringed material (for example: music, movies, television shows, software, etc.) as defined by the DMCA. Charter sends the following notice to customers on behalf of the copyright holder. If you receive a legal notice, you should consult a lawyer to better understand your legal rights and obligations in this situation.

Copyright holders have computer programs to help them identify the IP addresses (computer numbers) of internet users who are exchanging music or movies. The copyright holder can then subpoena the user's internet service provider to request the name and address of the customer who was using that IP address at that time. The copyright holder can then initiate legal action against the customer.


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Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was signed into law on October 28, 1998. Its intent is to protect copyright owners in a world of electronic file transfers.

Under the DMCA, copyright owners have the right to notify Charter if they believe that a Charter customer has infringed on the copyright owner's work(s). If Charter receives a notice from a copyright owner alleging a customer has committed copyright violation(s), Charter will notify the customer of the alleged violation. (No personal customer information is shared with the copyright owner unless required by law.)

Customers about whom Charter receives more than one notice of copyright violation will receive the following alerts:

  • 1-2 notices: An email or letter will be sent to the customer explaining the issue and how to prevent it in future.
  • 3-4 notices: An email or letter will be sent to the customer explaining the issue and how to prevent it in future, as well as an explanation of possible legal settlement fees and mitigation or termination of Spectrum Internet services that may result from further violations.
  • 5 notices: The customer's peer-to-peer file-sharing capability will be disabled.
  • 6 notices: The customer's Spectrum Internet services will be terminated. A letter will be mailed to the customer explaining that their internet services have been terminated.
Note: Customers who receive Spectrum Voice and/or Spectrum TV service can retain these services if their Spectrum Internet service is terminated as a result of multiple DMCA violations.

For additional information, please refer to our Acceptable Use Policy.

RIAA and MPAA Subpoenas

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have begun serving subpoenas on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get the names of Internet customers who are sharing music and movie files. Charter has received subpoenas for the names of a small number of its customers, and will continue to attempt to notify any of its customers for whom it receives a subpoena. Both the RIAA and the MPAA have publicly stated that they intend to issue more subpoenas in the future.

Notice of Copyright Violation

Reading the Notice

If you receive a postcard or email notice, you should visit our Notice of Copyright Violation portal. Enter the reference number from the notification and your Spectrum account number in the corresponding fields, and then select Sign In. You'll be able to read about how the DMCA relates to your account.


Digital Millennium Copyright Act Notice


Time Specified on Notice

The time cited in the copyright notice may not be the date and time at which you downloaded the material. It may be the time at which the material stored on your computer was accessed by someone else. You may still be held responsible by the copyright holder even if you weren't actively involved in sharing the material at the time. If the file is on your computer, and if your computer is turned on and connected to the internet, the material may be available for others to access without your permission.

Results of the Notice

It's possible the copyright holder could take legal action against you. You should consult your own attorney for legal advice. Review the government's summary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Also, Charter may suspend or disconnect your service as a result of repeat copyright violations. You can review Charter's Acceptable Use Policy.

Notice to Pay

Charter provides Notices of Copyright Violations to identified customers as long as the notices meet the requirements of the DMCA. It's possible a copyright holder or an agency working on their behalf might ask you to send them money by giving you a pre-settlement offer. Charter can't advise you on how to proceed with these pre-settlement offers.

While Charter does utilize pop-ups and emails to notify you of copyright violations, Charter doesn't ask for any payments related to copyright violation. If you receive an email or pop-up accusing you of copyright violation that demands payment, it may be tied to a fake payment site used to collect credit card numbers. If you are unsure if an email or pop-up is legitimate, we encourage you to reach out so we can verify.

See an example of one of these fraudulent sites and get more information. Charter doesn't ask for any payments related to copyright violations.

Filing a Copyright Counter-Notification

You should consult an attorney for legal advice. If you believe that your service wasn't used to commit the alleged violation, you believe that you have legal ownership of the material in question or you have another legal right to file a counter-notice, you can file a copyright counter-notification with Charter.

When you file a copyright counter-notification, Charter will forward your notification to the copyright holder or its designated agent. This means that your notice, including your name, address and contact information, will be shared with the copyright holder or its designated agent.

Learn more about how to file a copyright counter-notification  .

Terms of Service/Policies

Definition of Notice of Copyright Violation

Charter receives notices from copyright holders or their designated agents stating certain Spectrum Internet subscribers have used or acquired copyrighted work without authorization from the copyright holders. That's called a Notice of Copyright Violation.

Acceptable Use Policy

If your computer is being used in the exchange of unauthorized copies of copyrighted material (music, movies, television shows or software), Charter requests that you take action to stop the copyright violation. Charter's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) prohibits copyright violation. You can review Charter's AUP  .

Privacy Policy

Charter receives copyright violation notices from copyright holders, which identify the name of the property (song, movie, television show, etc.) date and time of the alleged violation, and an IP address (a unique address acquired by your modem). The copyright holders utilize various computer tools to track the sharing of movies, music and other media over the internet. Charter uses the IP address, date, and time to determine which customer is accused of committing the copyright violation.

Once identified, Charter then provides the complaint to the accused customer. However, Charter doesn't monitor what our customers are downloading and won't reveal a customer's name or identity to the copyright holder unless required by subpoena or other court document or permitted by Charter's Privacy Policy  . One exception to this is if you file copyright counter-notification disputing the claim. Learn more about Charter's counter-notification process or refer to the government's counter-notification rules.

Prevent Copyright Violation

File Search

If you need to search your computer for files that may be related to the copyright violation notice, please visit the support website for your computer's operating system to learn how to do so.

Obtain Files Legally

Rather than downloading files from file-sharing programs, you can obtain affordable music, movies, and television shows from a variety of sources. Some include:

Don't Exchange Copyrighted Material

A visitor could have connected his/her laptop to your modem or home network and used your internet connection to download the copyrighted material. Also, another family member could have used your own computer to download the files. Also, if you have a wireless home network that isn't secure, it's possible that someone outside your home is using your internet connection without your permission to share and download copyrighted material.

The following tips will help secure your home computer:

  • Educate all computer users in your home regarding copyright violation: Explain that downloading copyrighted material without permission from the copyright holder is against the law. Virtually all music, movies, TV shows, software, etc. that can be purchased in a store or online is copyrighted material. Also, discourage the use of peer-to-peer software and provide alternatives for downloading copyrighted material.
  • Be sure to check all computers on your home network for copyrighted material: The Notice of Copyright Violation will list the work(s) infringed upon. Perform a search on all computers within your home for the title.
  • Ensure your computer is free of viruses: It's possible that a computer virus has compromised your computer and is triggering the exchange of copyrighted material. If you believe your computer might be infected, perform an online virus scan. You can perform a virus scan with Security Suite. It's important that all computers in your home have an all-in-one security solution that's updated regularly. If you lack complete protection for your computer, consider downloading Security Suite. It's easy to use and included with your Spectrum Internet service. You even have the ability to download it on multiple computers within your home.
  • If you use a wireless router, make sure that it's encrypted: If someone accesses your home network without your knowledge or authorization, you may still be held responsible for their activities. That's why it's important that you encrypt your wireless network with a password. To find out how to do this, contact your router's manufacturer.

Learn more about wireless security.

Disable File-Sharing

Stop using free music and movie sharing over the internet, and then remove the programs from your computer or disable the file-sharing ability of the programs.

However, if you've already engaged in such file sharing, it's possible that the RIAA, MPAA, or some other organization, can still bring a suit against you for a copyright violation.

The member studios of the MPAA are offering a free program to help computer users detect copies of movies, music, and file-sharing software on their computer. The program is available at  .


The resources below will provide you with more information on copyright violation:

For further assistance, contact Charter Communications Internet Security Department at 314-288-3111 or by email at  .


The information on this page is provided to you for informational purpose only, and is not intended as legal advice. If you believe you rights under United States copyright law have been infringed, you should consult with your attorney.