ISPs nearing agreement on piracy crackdown system

Matthew Lasar

A post from CNET’s Greg Sandoval reports that United States ISPs and top content providers are "closer than ever" to a regimen for punishing ISP subscribers who engage in illegal file sharing. The story suggests that AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the Motion Picture Association of America are key negotiators. The White House is also involved in the discussions. Ars has been able to confirm the discussions with an industry source.

According to the article, ISPs would take a "graduated response" approach to repeat copyright infringers. They would first receive written warnings, called "Copyright Alerts." Should this and subsequent messages fail to dissuade the behavior, a "menu" of harsher measures could be meted out.

These could include:

  • Throttling subscriber bandwidth speeds
  • Limiting subscriber access to websites (eg, restricting access to the top 200 sites until the contested behavior stops)
  • Requiring the subscriber to participate in an educational program on copyright

Terminating Internet access is not being considered, the report says. The cost of this agreement will be shared by the ISPs and content providers.

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