Top ISPs poised to act as Internet gatekeepers to curb piracy

Top ISPs poised to act as Internet gatekeepers to curb piracy

After years of negotiations with media and entertainment companies, some of the country’s largest Internet service providers, including AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are teaming up to increase efforts in the unending fight against piracy, according to a CNET report.

The group of U.S. bandwidth providers aims to establish “new and tougher punishments for customers who refuse to stop using their networks to pirate films, music and other intellectual property,” multiple sources told CNET.

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 copyright owners 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. Eventually, the plan requires ISPs to take more serious action.

The respective trade groups for the four major record companies and six top Hollywood film studios, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), have long been in negotiations with ISPs to act as an “Internet gatekeeper” in dealing with piracy. In addition, the White House was also instrumental in encouraging the parties to reach an agreement, the sources confirmed.

The sources cautioned that a final agreement has yet to be signed but added that at this point a deal is “within reach and is on track” to be unveiled sometime next month.

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