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ISPs Set to Band Together to Fight Piracy

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Image by MrVJTod on FlickrGreg Sandoval at CNET reports that Internet service providers (ISPs) including Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T may be ready to come together to fight piracy.

Sandoval’s unnamed source revealed that a deal which “appears to have the potential to become one of the most potent antipiracy strategies ever implemented” may be announced as soon as next month; the plan would lay out a clear way for how ISPs would handle instances of online piracy, i.e., the unauthorized use, reproduction, and/or distribution of copyrighted works such as films and music.

According to Sandoval:

Under the proposed plan, participating bandwidth providers would adopt a “graduated response” to subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights. ISPs would first issue written warnings, called Copyright Alerts, to customers accused by content creators of downloading materials illegally via peer-to-peer sites, the sources said. Should a subscriber fail to heed the warning, an ISP could choose to send numerous follow-up notices.

The plan would also include a potential punishment of having “to participate in a program that educates [copyright infringers] on copyright law and the rights of content creators.”

Sandoval notes that the expenses of the plan would be shared by the ISPs and copyright owners.

Sounds good, so what’s the downside? Those who oppose the proposal contend it lacks appropriate due process for those accused of copyright infringement; that is, users could be punished based on the word of copyright owners that infringement has taken place.

What do you think of this potential plan?

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June 28th, 2011 at 9:46 am