ISPs to Begin Monitoring Illicit File Sharing

By year’s end, major internet service providers will institute the “Copyright Alert System”, a six-strikes and your out plan that has the backing of the Obama administration and of course Hollywood and the major record labels. The plan, now four years in the making and put on the back-burner after the implosion of SOPA and PIPA, includes participation by AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

Wired examines the tiers:

On the first offense, internet subscribers will receive an e-mail “alert” from their ISP saying the account “may have been” misused for online content theft. On the second offense, the alert might contain an “educational message” about the legalities of online file sharing.

On the third and fourth infractions, the subscriber will likely receive a pop-up notice “asking the subscriber to acknowledge receipt of the alert.”

After four alerts, according to the program, “mitigation measures” may commence. They include “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 (as specified in published policies) that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.”

Sohn said copyright scofflaws are not going to be dinged each time internet-snoop MarkMonitor detects infringement on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks.

“Each strike is not one infringement. Each strike is dozens or scores or hundreds of infringements,” Sohn said in a telephone interview.

The problem with ISPs taking this sort of action is that most of them are also content providers themselves. It’s definitely a conflict of interest for consumers, who can’t really do anything about it, except not illegally download stuff.

It would be nice if content providers just came up with a digital market to sell and download shows the day after they air. Ad-free will cost you, but ad supported would be free (well, at least for the networks that are technically free to watch).

There’s really no excuse for pirating movies at this point.

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