Friday, March 16, 2012
U.S. ISPs to Start Policing Copyrighted Traffic
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Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are among the ISPs
preparing to implement a graduated response to piracy by
July, RIAA CEO says.
During a panel discussion in New York, Cary Sherman, CEO
of the Recording Industry Association of America, said
most of the participating ISPs would begin implementing
the program by July 1, according to a CNet report.
Today, many U.S. Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
forward to subscribers notifications that they receive
from content owners about alleged content theft -
generally by email. Until now, however, there has been no
common framework to effectively alert subscribers.
"Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for
automating the system," Sherman said. They need this "for
establishing the database so they can keep track of
repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first
notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it
differently depending on the architecture of its
particular network. Some are nearing completion and
others are a little further from completion."
Last year, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner
Cable and other bandwidth providers announced that they
had agreed to adopt policies designed to discourage
customers from illegally downloading music, movies and
Under this "Copyright Alert System" system, an ISP, in
response to a notice from a copyright holder, will send
an alert to a subscriber notifying the subscriber that
his/her account may have been misused for online content
theft, that content theft is illegal and a violation of
the Terms of Service (TOS), Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
or other policies of their ISP, and that consequences
could result from any such conduct.
Subsequent alerts may include notifications in the form
of pop-ups or redirection to a special page displaying
the alert. Failure to respond to these alerts will lead
to additional steps designed to ensure that the account
comes into compliance. These steps, referred to as
"Mitigation Measures," might include, for example:
temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a
landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to
discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some
educational information about copyright, or other
measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve
the matter. These steps will only be taken after multiple
alerts and a failure by the subscriber to respond. This
system consists of at least five alerts.
The program is unlike the so-called "three strikes" as it
creates no new laws or formal legal procedures, nor does
this system require account suspension or termination. In
addition, ISPs will not provide their subscribers' names
to rights' holders under this agreement, except pursuant
to a properly issued subpoena or court order.