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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Largest American ISPs Will Choke Pirate’s Pipe

A number of the country’s major Internet service providers have finally reached an agreement with the music and movie copyright outfits RIAA and MPAA, and are going to soon apply a kind of “three-strikes” regime in order to discourage online piracy.

Since this July, some of the largest US broadband providers, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, are going to introduce a graduated response system, which will focus on stopping repeat infringers by throttling their broadband connection. The names of the Internet service providers involved in the move was recently published at the Association of American Publishers’ annual meeting by the RIAA’s head Cary Sherman.

This will work as following: at first case of infringement the subscriber will get a notification, informing them about piracy, copyright infringement, and breaching the agreement with the broadband provider. For the second case of infringement, they will receive another notification, this one asking the user to acknowledge receipt and sign a “pledge” to stop downloading unauthorized material. Finally, the third case of infringement will make the user face a Mitigation Measure Copyright Alert, which means that his Internet connection will be downgraded. However, nobody still can suspend VOIP, e-mail address, security or TV service.

However, the program itself isn’t enough to catch the copyright offenders, and that’s where the copyright owners come in to play. After finding an infringing torrent, they will notify the Internet service provider, who in response must pin-point the IP address and take action.

The scheme seems to be easy enough, and some may believe that this can help to entirely solve the piracy problem. However, the truth is that it can’t. Not only that it is virtually impossible for copyright owners to track every single torrent file in the Internet, but also an IP address can’t say for sure who exactly is behind it. Considering the fact that the music industry used the technique of “someone else using the IP” when caught pirating, anyone else can use the same excuse now.

This summer we will probably see how feasible this program is. The experts believe that VPNs, proxies and other ways of hiding your identity will be used widely, thus mocking this idea like they always did.

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