Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 284 5 | Winter 2017 Winter 2017 | A Word From Mike Hagg, HTC CEO Dear reader and fellow Cooperative member, Welcome back to Life Connections! It’s encouraging to see how this magazine connects our readers to local businesses, attractions and more, and we are pleased it has been so well received by our members — thank you! In this issue, we dive into 2017 with discussions regarding health and technology, garden planning, local business, improving internet speeds, the area’s art scene, a great local restaurant, and more. We love hearing what our readers have to say, so keep the comments coming! If you loved a certain article, have a topic idea or simply want to tell us your thoughts, visit As the internet continues to be an important communications tool, we would like to inform members of any HTC regulatory policies and updates that emerge. Due to all of the readily available content on the internet, copyright infringement has been and continues to be an issue. Unauthorized use and digital piracy created the need for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. As expected, the FCC has put into place several safeguards in order to protect the creators of original content. HTC is reviewing the steps necessary to implement the guidelines as written by the FCC in the event that an HTC Internet subscriber infringes on the rights of the content creators under the DMCA. To learn more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and how it could affect you, read more on page 5. For 65 years, HTC has been connecting the people of Horry County and beyond to the things in life that matter most. We take great pride in providing our friends and neighbors with the best possible service, and it is our honor to call you all members. Thank you for your loyalty and business — we can’t wait to continue our legacy here in South Carolina. Here’s to the next 65 years! Best regards, Michael Hagg, Chief Executive Officer Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. A DMCA Takedown Rundown What are you doing online tonight? Maybe you’re streaming the classic 1989 movie Shag. Maybe you’re going to settle into a warm bed to read the latest e-pub by South Carolina writer Mary Alice Monroe on your iPad. Or maybe you’re streaming an album by Hootie & the Blowfish over Spotify. The internet brings so much to see, read and hear into our world. Part of that endless variety is due to the DMCA — the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. What’s the DMCA? Passed just before the turn of the century, the DMCA tried to tame the Wild West of the internet at a time when intellectual property was going digital and internet piracy was on the rise. The United States had signed two World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties, agreeing to provide increased protections for copyrighted material, but Congress had yet to enact legislation to protect those rights. Media companies were nervously experimenting with digital content distribution but were concerned about pervasive piracy. 1 17 U.S Code §512 The DMCA to the rescue Congress enacted the DMCA to address these tensions and uncertainties. To comply with the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, the DMCA extended U.S. copyright protection to works created in certain treaty countries and clarified that U.S. copyright law would protect computer programs as literary works. The DMCA also made it a crime to circumvent technological copyright protection measures (both software-based and hardware-based) on any copyrighted work, be they video games, DVDs, CDs, digital videos, e-books or computer programs. What about the internet service providers? The DMCA also created protections for internet service providers. Before the DMCA was enacted, copyright holders, frustrated by their inability to find and sue the individuals who were posting pirated movies, music and books on the internet, started suing the more easily located (and more easily sued) internet service providers. The copyright holders argued that the ISPs were helping their users commit copyright infringement by deliberately ignoring the infringing material posted by their users. The copyright holders argued that the ISPs should police the user-contributed content and take down any infringing material. In response, the ISPs, like HTC, argued that it would be time-consuming, difficult and expensive to police all the user posts contributed to their sites. The ISPs were also reluctant to take down content posted by their customers based solely on a stranger’s claim of copyright infringement. The DMCA offered a compromise: the DMCA takedown process. What’s the takedown process? The DMCA takedown process helps copyright holders get infringing content removed, protects ISPs from direct or indirect liability for copyright infringement committed by their users, and allows ISP users to have their content restored if it is removed mistakenly — all without the direct intervention of a court. Here’s how it works: If a copyright holder believes that someone has illegally posted the holder’s protected works online, the copyright holder sends a DMCA takedown request to the ISP that handles the content — say, YouTube in the case of a user-posted video, Tumblr in the case of a photograph or WordPress in the case of a blog. Once the ISP receives a valid takedown notice, the DMCA will shield the ISP from liability for copyright infringement if the ISP “expeditiously” removes or disables access to the content identified in the takedown notice.1 In this way, the law provides ISPs with a “safe harbor” when it comes to liability and customer satisfaction — the copyright holder cannot sue the ISP, and the ISP’s user cannot sue the ISP for removing the content. The DMCA freed ISPs to focus on providing users with internet services. What does all this mean for members? One way HTC members can avoid any DMCA notifications is to make sure their home Wi-Fi networks are password protected. This can prevent unauthorized use by neighbors and visitors. Since July of 2016, HTC has received an average of 1,400 copyright violation notifications per month. Therefore, HTC is developing automated processes to mitigate this inappropriate use of copyrighted material and give our members every opportunity to protect their accounts against unauthorized or improper claims. Watch for more information about DMCA notices and procedures in coming issues of Life Connections or at