How much does it cost to mess with your customers' torrent downloads? Well, how about $16 million? That's how much Comcast agreed to settle a class action lawsuit against its P2P throttling practice, according to a report from Cable Digital News. From the article:

" The suit alleged that Comcast impaired some P2P file sharing traffic, including some used to transfer movies and audio files. The settlement is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (...)."

Of course, we all still remember the whole drama about Comcast throttling torrents that started in 2007 and ended with an FCC decision against the company in the summer of 2008 (for all the details, read my recap here). One thing that was missing from the FCC's order was any kind of penalty for the cable giant, which is why some called the step toothless and the whole investigation a farce.

Well, looks like Comcast will have to pay up now - at least if enough of its customers are brave enough to admit that they shared files via BitTorrent, Gnutella, Emule or Fasttrack / Kazaa. Users of these file sharing protocols have until next August to register their claims, and forms can be downloaded from this web site. However, don't expect too much dough from the settlement: Each class action member is only entitled to receive up to $16.

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