Internet Providers to Assist in Putting A Stop to Online Piracy

Internet Providers to Assist in Putting A Stop to Online Piracy



Leading Internet service providers, in a deal with major entertainment media companies, agreed to a standardized procedure for notifying its customers about repeated occurrences of digital copyright infringement.

The Internet service providers, which include AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast Verizon and Cablevision, announced Thursday in Washington the deal with major trade associations for movies and music. The movie and music associations were comprised of The Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, and many other organizations that represent independent filmmakers and record companies.

The new method, which is could go into effect early next year, is referred to as a graduated response. It establishes a series of six warning notices that an Internet provider can send a customer, whose account display signs of infringing activity.

The warnings escalate from a simple email, notifying the customers that signs of infringing activity has been detected from their account, to a range of “mitigation measures,” which include slowed connections or blocking the customer from surfing the Web. As steps progress, the user must acknowledge to his Internet Service Provider (ISP) that he understands the warning notice. The user is also allowed to dispute the complaint.

In a statement, Randal S. Milch, Verizon’s executive president and general counsel, said, “This is a sensible approach to the problem of online-content theft and, importantly, one that respects the privacy and rights of our subscribers.”

“We hope that effort –- designed to notify and educate customers, not to penalize them –- will set a reasonable standard for both copyright owners and I.S.P.’s to follow, while informing customers about copyright laws and encouraging them to get content from the many legal sources that exist,” Milch added.