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Big Content, ISPs nearing agreement on piracy crackdown system


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.

Mitigation and education

This development is particularly interesting given AT&T's previous comments suggesting a reluctance to be part of these sort of P2P disciplinary deals.

"Private entities are not created or meant to conduct the law enforcement and judicial balancing act that would be required;" AT&T told the White House's IP enforcement coordinator a year ago. "They are not charged with sitting in judgment of facts; and they are not empowered to punish alleged criminals without a court order or other government sanction. Indeed, the liability implications of ISPs acting as a quasi-law-enforcement/judicial branch could be enormous."

But we spoke to a key industry source this morning about the story, who acknowledged its accuracy to a significant degree. The contact took issue with the article's emphasis on the type of subscriber punishments being considered. "There is no agreement in place; nothing has been signed," we were told, and "the focus on enforcement is inaccurate."

Instead, the final deal will emphasize "mitigation and education" far more than disciplinary action, our source explained. These measures will include "a very long process of notification, click throughs, and education." They will be foregrounded "long before there is any thought anything close to the kind of things reported today."

Our contact also said that when some kind of agreement is reached, it will come in the context of "individual agreements between content creators and ISPs."

But the source also confirmed that that "menu" of disciplinary measures is on the table, and that the Obama administration has "been part of the conversations and [is] generally supportive."

The White House released its "wish list" of intellectual property law changes earlier this year. The document said little about Web censorship and "three strikes" rules. And previous statements also balked at government involvement. It now appears that Uncle Sam is looking to, and encouraging, the private sector to implement these sort of provisions.

If something comes out of these talks, it could surface "in the next few weeks," we were informed. We contacted the Recording Industry Association of America, AT&T, and Comcast about this development. RIAA declined to comment.
This is something we should be glad for we live in India. As a whole this may come out as another negative point concerning the problems here, but when particularly pointed out, we really should be glad.


On KillingSpree!!!
yeah, glad to be in india :razz:
i use pirated apps just because, i dont have economic capacity to purchase each and every software .... it is hard to make parents agree on a small hardware upgrade, so legal softwares is out of question...

I only use legal antivirus as my thanks to them for protecting the pc :oops:


If this happened in India, our singers will finally start making money.
But hardly anything will happen here. We have bigger problems to solve than to concentrate on the internet.

Implications; things people wont want anymore in case of such a law:
No unlimited plans
No HDD of more than 200GB
No collection of movies or songs
No windows in 50%(or more) of present PCs

Ubuntu suddenly becomes the dominant OS. :-D

P.S. I have never used Ubuntu. I just know its free.


Aspiring Novelist
India ISP providers will follow suite. On the pretext of infringement of copyright, but to actually getting a back door sign-off to control band width. Is not FUP this.


Copyright isnt going strongly in our country.

Doing so would mean you and I would stop using so much bandwidth and suffice with much lower plans for regular usage, even consider tethering our 3G phones for better VFM.

Since we are 5years or 10 behind USoA its likely going to take a lot of time before reaching our shores.
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