Top ISPs Sign Up in the Fight Against Piracy

Browser CopSome of the largest Internet service providers in the United States — including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon — are reportedly teaming up with anti-piracy crusaders in the fight against online theft.

The ISPs will mete out punishments against suspected pirates of films, music and intellectual property that include bandwidth throttling and disconnection.

Under the proposed plan, participating bandwidth providers would adopt a “graduated response” to subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights. ISPs would first issue written warnings, called Copyright Alerts, to customers accused by copyright owners of downloading materials illegally via peer-to-peer sites, the sources said. Should a subscriber fail to heed the warning, an ISP could choose to send numerous follow-up notices. Eventually, the plan requires ISPs to take more serious action.

The new system, which sees ISPs act as “Internet gatekeepers,results from years of discussion between the folks that supply the bandwidth and representatives of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), along with the four major record labels and six major film studios. According to CNET, the plan will be unveiled in the next month and is “within reach and is on track.”

But note that the proposed action is just that — a proposed action. It will still need to clear various legal hurdles – not the least of which will be the privacy issues it raises. It may also run afoul of international agreements if the U.S. agrees to a United Nations proposal that would make Internet access a human right.

Source: CNET

 

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