Fuhgeddaboudit: ISPs Agree to ‘Endless Strikes’ Enforcement Plan

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A number of major, US-based ISPs have now agreed to warn infringing subscribers through a system of ‘Copyright Alerts,’ though this is far more lenient than copyright owners would like.

And, access providers are not required to terminate accounts or disclose identities, even after multiple violations.  In fact, this is an entirely voluntary system where ISPs calls the shots on their own playgrounds.

AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon are among the providers on board, and the agreement was forged with a range of different content industries.  That includes music, though the RIAA was unable to do this alone – despite promises that agreements were forged back in 2007. Instead, industries like television and Hollywood helped to push this over the finish line.  “Leaders from the movie, television, music and internet service provider communities today announced a landmark agreement on a common framework for ‘Copyright Alerts’,” the consortium affirmed.

According to a joint announcement issued Thursday morning, the system will involve lots of letters and warnings, and eventually, more stern ‘Mitigating Measures’. But ISPs will keep the identity of the infringer private, and lines will stay connected even after five or six warnings – and beyond.  The ‘Measures’ include things like requiring a subscriber to acknowledge the receipt of a letter, temporarily suspending parts of service until a conversation happens with the ISP, or having service slowed.

But ISPs are resisting a complete cut, and are protecting their right to preserve ‘essential’ services like voice phone, email, and access to emergency-related sites.  All of which begs the question: without a real stick, will any of this have an impact?