According to a report in The Hill, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other major Internet service providers are set to implement a copyright alert system aimed at cutting down on illegal peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material “over the next several weeks.”
The plan being implemented will supposedly be a “six strike” system where copyright holders due their typical scans looking for infringers but now instead cross reference the abusers they locate with the Internet provider they use. Then, the copyright holders would send a message to infringers — and, under the agreement, the providers would commit to forwarding those messages to their customers.
If the infringer does not respond to the first set of alerts, which will include educational material on protecting copyrights and the consequences of illegal file-sharing, the Internet service provider may temporarily slow down their Internet speeds, direct them to an online tutorial when they try to access popular websites or implement “mitigation measures.”
According to Ars Technica, the goal of such a plan is to:
educate and stop the alleged content theft in question, not to punish. No ISP wants to lose a customer or see a customer face legal trouble based on a misunderstanding, so the alert system provides every opportunity to set the record straight.
Much concern over the current plan surrounds the idea that providers will ultimately shut down the Internet connection of the abusers. However, an important aspect to keep in mind is that these providers have an invested interest in holding on to customers and little incentive to shut them out.