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.”