Unsurprising, but unpleasant, development:
Top ISPs agree to become copyright cops
Some of the top ISPs, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, have officially agreed to step up efforts to protect the rights of copyright owners, a move first reported last month by CNET.
“Leaders from the movie, television, music and Internet service provider communities today announced a landmark agreement on a common framework for ‘Copyright Alerts,'” the parties said today in a statement. Copyright Alerts “will educate and notify Internet subscribers when their Internet service accounts possibly are being misused for online content theft. This voluntary landmark collaboration will educate subscribers about content theft on their Internet accounts, benefiting consumers and copyright holders alike.”
Many file-sharing fans and proponents of free content are to sure mock the assertion that this is a benefit to them.
This agreement hands the music and film sectors a big new stick with which to fight online illegal downloading of copyrighted works. The deal doesn’t affect illegal streaming services. The film, music, and software sectors claim that online piracy costs the U.S. economy billions in lost revenue and jobs.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the respective trade groups for the four major record companies and six top Hollywood film studios, have labored for years to persuade ISPs to take a tougher antipiracy position.
Media companies and Internet providers have agreed on a system to put the brakes on the service of users of illegal file-sharing services. The ISPs have agreed to alert customers up to six times if they believe their account is being used to illegally download music and movie, Reuters reports. After repeated warnings via email or pop-up windows, offenders will have their Internet speed slowed down or could find themselves redirected to an educational page about copyright law. Consumers will be allowed to appeal and ISPs won’t be allowed to disclose their identities to the entertainment industry.