US ISPs Will Start Hunting Pirates From July


Pro-copyright organisations confirm ISPs will commence initiatives on 12 July

Several major internet service providers (ISPs) in the US, including Time Warner, Comcast and Verizon, have announced that by 12 July they will begin or will have already launched programs to crack down on peer-to-peer piracy.

The initiatives will see participating ISPs use a “graduated response” against alleged pirates, which will begin with a few “educational notices” and potentially end in highly-reduced data speeds or disconnection.

Copyright education

© Franck Boston - Fotolia.comLast year, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) finally managed to hammer out a deal with several major ISPs to combat illegal file-sharing. According to TorrentFreak, the deal involved content owners monitoring peer-to-peer networks for any infringements, which would then be reported to the ISPs. Funding would be split equally between both groups, though it is possible that consumers may see ISP fees rise slightly.

Since the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed back in June there had been little word about when the initiatives would come into effect. The Centre for Copyright Information (CCI), the organisation set up as part of the agreement, has now confirmed the involved groups are on target to commence programs by 12 July.

“The members of the coalition are making significant progress at developing a cooperative system to educate consumers and deter copyright theft,” a CCI spokesperson told TorrentFreak. “CCI is working to implement what is an unprecedented effort and is proceeding on pace with the MOU. We will have announcements in the near future that will include the naming of the [anti-piracy monitoring] partner and details on how CCI and the technology partner will work together.”

Cary Sherman, the CEO of the RIAA, confirmed the 12 July date at the Association of American Publishers’ annual meeting, CNET reported.

The ‘Copyright Alert Program’ for the ISPs will follow a set structure to wean users off peer-to-peer piracy. The ‘Initial Education Step’ informs the user that the ISP is aware of their copyright infringement and that it is a violation of the provider’s terms of service. The user may receive up to two of these notices.

The ‘Acknowledgement Step’ requires the consumer to respond to a notice saying they will cease any further illegal downloads. Action can only be taken by the ISPs if copyright infringement continues after this second step. In the ‘Mitigation Measures Step’ that action could be reduced upload/download speeds, reduction of speeds to just above a dial-up level, redirection to landing page for “a meaningful educational instruction on copyright” or online disconnection for a ‘reasonable’ period of time.

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