FTO Downloads & FASTHOSTS

FastHosts hosted my website for a while but claimed I was in breach of their Terms & Conditions. Well, there's a story... make up your own mind...

I purchased an unlimited bandwidth and disk space account with FastHosts through one of my friends who is a reseller. I bought the space for purposes of "a resource & information page for the FTO" (and later included the EVO). Strangely FastHosts have selectively deleted individual video files from this area twice in the past without notification or reason. As an example my Croft and Donington videos were chosen for deletion - they were shot by me, edited by me, and the copyright is held by me.

Some time around Monday 6th January 2003 I noticed that MIVEC.co.uk wasn't working and my email started to get quiet (you tend to notice when 200+ emails per day are received from the various lists). After some queries it turns out that the domain MIVEC.co.uk had been deleted by FastHosts! No warnings or notification were ever given to this event.

When we enquired why this had happened we were told; [quote from Abuse@fasthosts.co.uk 07 January 2003 14:53] "It has come to our [attention] that the domain name mivec.co.uk has over 1GB of car videos for download. The domain name has therefore been disabled for excessive system resource usage". We double-checked with FastHosts themselves and the account is definately unlimited bandwidth and space, and that's what I pay for.

We pointed out that the account was bought as unlimited and they themselves confirmed this. We also mentioned that the material they deleted was copyrighted by the site owner (and that documentary proof of this could be provided). They said; [quote from Abuse@fasthosts.co.uk 09 January 2003 09:50] "The problem is not necessarily connected to the disk space or the bandwidth being utilised by the domain. (Terms of Service quote: Fasthosts reserves the right to suspend or cancel a customer's access to any or all services provided by Fasthosts when Fasthosts decides that the account has been inappropriately used or otherwise). Downloads are [not] permitted on the servers as these files are not essential to the viewing of a web page. If the video files provided for download are removed, the domain could be re-enabled".

They've changed their tune all of a sudden! It has gone from "excessive system resource usage" to "The problem is not necessarily connected to the disk space or the bandwidth being utilised by the domain".

Fact:- MIVEC.co.uk has used 7Gb of bandwidth in a 12 month period and uses 1Gb of space. We pointed out to them that the reseller has other accounts hosted by FastHosts which use 5Gb per month and that we don't consider 1gb to be excessive storage when that could easily be taken up by an image gallery or large access database. We also pointed out to them that they have not provided evidence that I've broken their Terms & Conditions.

We were getting nowhere fast so we asked if we could come to an arrangement and somehow reduce the size of them because the video files I create are an integral part of the site (and therefore that these files are esential to the viewing of the web page!). However they replied; [email from Abuse@fasthosts.co.uk 10 January 2003 12:28 "Unfortunately we would not be able to "come to an arrangement" on this issue ...".

So, there you go. The Downloads page was down for a few months because FastHosts refuse to budge. From any perspective outside the walls of FastHosts they appear to be maniulating their Terms of Service as they see fit and I believe they were wholely unreasonable. I've spend a lot of time creating something I enjoy only for FastHosts to tell me I can't show my products any more. Anyway, that's in the past, I've now moved hosts.