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New Anti-Piracy Agreement: ISP Consumers Subject To “Six Strikes” Policy

July 12, 2011 by  

New Anti-Piracy Agreement: ISP Consumers Subject To “Six Strikes” Policy

Several major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have signed on to a voluntary agreement with the movie and music industries to crack down on the pirating of copyrighted media, under which consumers will be subject to a “six strikes” policy.

The copyright enforcement plan will allow copyright holders to partner with ISPs to identify and warn consumers six times that their account could be subject to penalties if identified illegal activity continues. After the “sixth strike,” a consumer would be subject to “mitigation measures,” ars technica reports.

The website quoted the agreement’s announcement materials, which stated that the agreement’s goal 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.”

While the technical news outlet agreed that the “six strike” plan and “mitigation measures” were much less harmful to consumers than the (still pending) lawsuits often levied by the entertainment industry, the article said “the shift looks more like a pragmatic attempt to solve a real problem through less aggressive measures after the failure of scorched earth tactics.”

As for the “mitigation measures” that consumers accused of piracy would face, ars technica said they were relatively mild, though still “punishments”: “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 that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter.”

The article said that perhaps most concerning about this agreement is that “there’s no avoiding the fact that the ‘mitigation measures’ are the result of private, unverified accusations not vetted by a judiciary.”


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  • BKWsr

    I am tired of the movie, record and that matter the sports industries. While sitting in their million dollor homes and buisnesses the continue to wine and cry over pirating and every thing else they like to wine about. What needs to happen is we need to boycott these industries. Force them to lower their prices. Look at the prices of tickets for concerts, sports games, movie tickets. The price of a music CD or movie vidio on a 5 cent disk is ridiculous. I am all for making money, But not to the extent it becomes greed. Boycott these industries.

    • hicusdicus

      What I do and keep in the privacy of my own home and causes no physical harm is my business and my business only.

      • Bus

        unless its stolen property

        • sas2

          When they start kicking down the doors, and those infringements are the only thing found, that is still something!

          • Ayobro

            They would charge us for the air we breathe if they could.

  • Cliffystones

    Instead of targeting people like my 11 year old daughter for trying to download the latest Taylor Swift song, how about these music industry boneheads go after the people who loaded the song on a server and made it available illegally? Oh I forgot, that would make waaaay to much sense!

    And why is it that somebody still “owns rights” to 40 and 50 year old music like the Beatles and Elvis anyway? Prescription drugs cost way more in time, money and expertise to create. Yet they can only be exclusive to the originator for a set amount of time. But relatives years from now can still own and profit from music, movies, books etc. that they never lifted a pinky to create. And remember Michael Jackson buying up all of the rights to Beatles songs? WTF was that all about? These copyrights need to have an expiration date as well. Those folks in the “entertainment industry” who continue to profit from them will just have to knuckle-down and work for a living like the rest of us.

    • libertytrain

      You may wish to look up “intellectual property.” – what you’re saying is kind of like –I own these 100 acres, and pass them on to my family or sell it BUT in 50 years from the time I bought it, it becomes everyone in the worlds property to do with as they please – my kinfolk or the person I sold it to would no longer have rights over what was their property according to your theory.
      A mind is a valuable tool. It creates things. It needs to be compensated for same. Whether it is an invention, a piece of art, music or a brilliant idea – a book……

      • Les

        you can rent the same piece of land to thousands of users simultaneously. This is the RIAA making deals to protect the industry, not the Artist, just ask Prince who the RIAA is protecting. The good news is that a lot of artists are moving on their own to the internet and giving their music away, because they make real money from concerts. This will make the RIAA extinct, just like tape drives. If they had their way we would all be renting music from them. By the way I do not condone pirating music or software but I am pissed that I have to buy it 2 or three times to keep up with the moving media. I have albums, Cassettes, VHS Tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. Every couple years a new format comes out my what I have now obsolete.

        • Les

          You can’t rent the same piece of land……

          • libertytrain

            the idea wasn’t about renting the land it was about losing it after 25 or 50 years “just cause” like a book or a song -

        • libertytrain

          I’m not arguing with you – the artists either make deals and sell their works to others or they do it themselves, it’s their choice. My point was that the fellow seemed annoyed that someone had the right to own the intellectual property in the first place – so few people realize that it is property to begin with. I’m not into stealing these things either. And stealing it is.

          • libertytrain

            And albums are back in vogue – glad I kept mine. :)

          • Vic

            It is property indeed. But it’s creator or whoever is the owner of the rights cannot guard it like you can guard your own land. Therefore, there’s kind of agreement, society recognize the right to the intellectual property and guards it with whatever expense it may take, but after a set time it (intellectual property) becomes a common property in public domain. Patent law works exactly this way and entertainment should be no exception.

          • libertytrain

            Reminds me of my favorite paragraph in Atlas Shrugged. Essentially stating ‘the audience acted as though I owed it to them to create —-’

        • sas2

          They can all be seen on the TV in time, or heard on the radio!

      • Vic

        BS. Even patents do expire. Tangible property has ownership at all times it does exist but intangible one (like intellectual property) is expiring after some reasonable time, that was (and in many places still is) the common law.

        In short, expiration date for intellectual property is normally set so that it’s creator benefits from it, but not the others who might happen to “buy” that rights after original creator death.

      • EddieW

        Perhaps Liberty, but even Perscription Drugs, that copst a fortune to develop, only get 20 years I think…before their patent expires…yet you write a song, do an art work and copyright it, it’s good for 100 years, a bit ridiculous!! Most people not interested in it long before that!! Doubt you remember Clayton McMican and his music, that is only about 60 years ago, yet you can find none of it today, not eveen on you tube or buying thru music outlets on line!!!
        Even if it were available, no would would buy it, he sounded like he saang through his nose!!

        • libertytrain

          think of the incredible fortune those drug companies make before they have to “share” – in 20 years times all that money. I don’t have much sympathy for them…. I know it’s a tough call – I just think the idea of “stealing” the music is kind of rude.

  • sas2

    I agree to much theft, it is a law no different than immigration. I work hard in construction and pray hard to find something else that might save me when I get old because my body getting torn down! God gives you gifts of different talents and it is your right to claim them and benifit from them! Now when a gift is given to you would you like someone to take it from you and cheat you out of the rewards thereof if any can be gained or the other guy instead? I am an song writter and trying to make it if possible and get the H out of my trade, so piracy is wrong! What part of illegal do you not understand?

    • Ayobro

      because theyre not goin to charge us the value of the amount of material that was stolen

      • Ayobro

        and not only that who’s to say they’re looking out for you? what if its some movie thats been in a freaking vault for 80 years or some foreign material?

  • s c

    How is this NOT just another example of what happens when UNIONS get into bed with BIG BROTHER/MUTHA? Kindly remember that every time you say music or movies, say UNIONS in the same breath.
    Integrity has nothing to do with this. Forget immorality. Just say M O N E Y and more kontrol for America’s power-mad sunny beaches.
    To make matters worse, it’s just a matter of time before those same sunny beaches in Washington declare that Americans have no right to access the internet without advance, written permission from them.

  • Raggs

    Six strikes huh?… Only in America…

    I would say that the REST of the world will continue to get away with it, BUT not poor ole America…. HUH?

    Someone is jerking a chain in a dry bowl.

    I don’t pirate but even if, WE really need more laws?… How stupid!!!!!

  • pete

    I’m wondering how the ISP’s are monitoring the so called “guilty parties” internet traffic ? Isn’t that an invasion of privacy ?

    I reckon these ISPs, Hollywood and the RIAA are accomplices in cracking and eavesdropping on private internet traffic …

  • Steve

    The article does not say which ISPs have signed on to this. If I get a warning, I’ll warn my ISP right back: You are about to lose a customer if you mess with the service I’m paying for.

  • Jay

    Caveat emptor, a pig in a poke, and let the cat out of the bag! Most people are familiar with at least two of these. When dealing with the software industry, all three must be remembered.

    Sellers have never had sterling reputations for honesty. lf they had, the three expressions cited above would never have attained a place in common usage. Putting a cat in a bag and selling it as a pig gave rise to the latter two expressions. The smart buyer, the buyer who took the caveat to heart, opened the bag before putting down his money and let the cat out.

    Software manufacturers have foisted the impression on the public that software is intellectual property, but there are so many differences between the paradigms of intellectual property and software that only the naive could ever take such claims seriously.

    The paradigms for intellectual property are the non-fiction book, the novel, poetry, musical composition, dramatic scripts, sculpture, paintings, in short, fine art. And these range from the absolutely unique item, like a great painting, that only one person can own to multiple itemed works, like books, that many people can own copies of.

    Software is certainly not at all like the former. Is it like the latter? First of all, a book has an author or authors, a musical composition a composer, a painting a painter. These are the people who collect the royalties. Who authors software? Do they get the royalties? Ah, don’t they wish it were so.

    Secondly, books, except textbooks, musical compositions, paintings, etc., don’t come out in versions. Tolstoy didn’t make a career out of writing War and Peace over and over again, improving a bit here and a bit there, even though I suspect he would have said that it could have been improved upon had he been asked. Michelangelo didn’t sculpt scores of versions of David and sell them as upgrades.

    Thirdly, when I buy a copy of a book, etc., it is mine, not the author’s or the publisher’s. I can do what I want with it. I can sell it, rent it, lend it, rewrite it, even destroy it. The manufacturers of software want to prohibit all of this. They even claim to retain ownership and sell only the right to use. But even this claim is specious.

    If I rent something to someone, I rent it for a specific period of time. When that time period is over, I want it back. When you go to Blockbuster and rent a CD, you don’t get it indefinitely. Blockbuster wants it back. But Microsoft doesn’t want old versions of Windows back, it doesn’t even want new versions of Windows back, so one can ask what kind of ownership do software manufacturers claim to retain? If I sell something, I have no further claim on it. It I discard something, I have no further claim on it. To retain a claim, I have to want it back, otherwise, I have sold it, discarded it, or given it away. So although software manufacturers claim to retain ownership, it is ownership of nothing.

    Finally, software is written with the help of software. An awful lot of it is canned. There are miles of similar code in programs that perform similar functions. Not so in novels, musical compositions, and other fine art. So if software is intellectual property, it is a strange kind of intellectual and a strange kind of property.

    In reality, software is a product made by employees in a factory. The software engineer, programmer, coder is no different than the welder or the lathe operator. Each has learned a specific skill. None is involved in an intellectual enterprise, and that is the chief reason software is often so bad. There are no bugs in true intellectual property, it has no security gaps. Authors, painters, composers, sculptors, poets do not include statements absolving themselves from damages as all software producers do.

    Then there are the claims of all the money being lost. Perhaps! But not as obvious as many seem to think. There is an assumption behind this claim that is patently false. The assumption is that everyone who pirates software would have bought it if he couldn’t have gotten it otherwise. But that’s not even remotely true.

    Distinctions need to be made between those who pirate software in order to sell it and those who pirate it for their own use. Few would disagree that the former are engaged in an improper activity. The same can’t be said of the latter, however. People who pirate software for their own uses do it for many reasons.

    One prevalent reason is putting software you have legitimately purchased on more than one computer in your own home. If I have a desktop and a laptop, why should I have to buy two copies of a program? If I have two CD players, I don’t have to buy two copies of a CD. I don’t have to buy a separate copy of a book for each member of my family who wants to read it. Why should this be wrong for software but right for CDs and books? The immorality or criminality here eludes me. Are software manufacturers more entitled to protection than authors or artists? Why?

    Others often pirate software just to look at it or try it out, something that often results in future sales. The manufacturers of software don’t factor these future sales into their loss calculations though, do they? Why not? And what’s wrong with trying something out before you buy it? Don’t you test drive a car before putting down the cash? Except for those small developers who offer minor programs on the internet, do

    you know of any way to try out software without purchasing it?
    People often pirate software which they really have no intention of using to any degree. Such pirating does not result in any loss of sales, so why should the manufacturers of software care about it? Such pirating is no different than borrowing a CD or a book, and it is perfectly acceptable and legal to do that.

    So why not software?
    So how does software piracy affect the economy and the technology industry as a whole? Damned if I know. It is not obvious to me that the Chinese would be buying Windows from Microsoft if it weren’t available from the sources they now get it from. I don’t know how many Chinese could afford it at Microsoft’s price. Would it mean more jobs for Americans? I have no reason to believe it. We have all heard about off-shored outsourcing and visas for foreign workers. And how does it affect the development of software? Would there be more of it if the rewards were greater? God knows, we’re inundated with it now. No developer seems to be terribly discouraged by the piracy that’s been going on, and the manufacturers themselves are constantly engaged in attempts to comer a market and drive competition out. Does that encourage developers?

    Software is a pig in a poke. It never works as promised, often requires more resources than claimed, and is sold under garage sale conditions with a disclaimer absolving the manufacturer of responsibility for any and everything. And these are the people crying crocodile tears about piracy! One can even suspect that software companies deliberately market defective software so they can later market “upgrades.” What do they say about thieves? It takes one to know one!

    Didn’t Microsoft literally steal DOS? Oh sure, the guys who developed it were dumb enough to sell it cheap and didn’t deserve what they didn’t get. But shouldn’t anyone dumb enough to put his stake in an industry whose products are easily copied and stolen be prepared to bear the consequences? Capitalism is an economic system that involves risk. A person investing in this system must evaluate the risks associated with the enterprise. And don’t tell me Bill Gates and others didn’t know the risks.

    So what’s the upshot? The manufacturers claim that they’re losing money. Maybe, maybe not. They knew what they were getting into. No one twisted their arms, and they’re all using tools developed by someone else. They didn’t invent the computer or devise the programming languages, and if they can use other people’s ideas for their own profit, why shouldn’t others use their ideas for profit? Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned. Ideas, after all, have no owners. Manufacturers lie about their software, why shouldn’t they lie about the effects of piracy?

    Would you be so willing to sop up the tears of the seller whose customer let the cat out of the bag that was supposed to contain a pig? Or would you laugh at his embarrassment and say he got what he deserved? (11/23/2009)

  • cheap cable internet

    Let’s say this happens: what then? Is there any solution to this? What do we do? Switch to an ISP that isn’t part of this agreement? That’s all I can think of. I don’t think most people will be able to hide from the ISP: we just don’t have the technical know-how.


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