The Recording Industry Association of America announced that it has given the largest Internet service providers in the country a Chinese burn until they agreed to become copyright police and disconnect anyone the entertainment industry can suspect of being a pirate.
Cary Sherman, the head of the RIAA, claimed during a panel discussion prior to the annual meeting of Association of American Publishers that most of the American broadband providers are signed up to start implementing the program by the middle of summer. The RIAA said that it had taken a year of planning to turn Internet service providers into the entertainment industry’s police, because each broadband provider had to develop their own infrastructure for automating the system.
Each Internet service provider had to create a database in order to keep track of repeat infringers. This was necessary for them as they had to know which notice was the first notice and which was already the third. Meanwhile, every broadband provider had to do it differently, as they all have different architecture of their networks.
The program in question is called a “graduated response” system. It demands that Internet service providers send out a couple of educational notices to those subscribers who are accused of downloading copyrighted material illegally. In fact, it’s three strikes and the subscribers are in hot water.
The Internet service providers are able to choose from a range of punishments, which the Recording Industry Association of America calls “mitigation measures”. The suggested list includes throttling down the subscriber’s connection speed to suspending Internet access until the user promises never to pirate any material ever again. Fortunately, no broadband provider has agreed to permanently terminate service thus far.
The industry experts point out that it actually seems very strange that after the Stop Online Piracy Act failed to get legal backing, some controversial voluntary agreement between the entertainment industry and the Internet service providers manages to do the same thing. The only problem for both parties is that the pirates are still being identified by their IP addresses, by the snoops of copyright holders.