The RIAA Is Watching...You
Beginning July 12, 2012 a number of the USA's largest Internet Service Providers including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and others will begin enforcing an RIAA crackdown on people who download music, movies and software for free from sites and services that do not have the right to distribute copyrighted material. Pirates. Arrr.
According to CNET, infringers will be given a series of warnings before the ISP takes action,
The program, commonly referred to as "graduated response," requires that ISPs send out one or two educational notices to those customers who are accused of downloading copyrighted content illegally. If the customer doesn't stop, the ISP is then asked to send out "confirmation notices" asking that they confirm they have received notice.Kind of like a substance abuse policy (see the Center for Copyright Information for details on the "graduated response"). The target for this antipiracy effort which was years in the making is focused on peer-to-peer services and specially BitTorrent users who download content from "EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, or do likewise with movies owned by Disney, Sony, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Warner" according to TorrentFreak.
At that time, the accused customers will also be informed of the risks they incur if they don't stop pirating material. If the customer is flagged for pirating again, the ISP can then ratchet up the pressure. Participating ISPs can choose from a list of penalties, or what the RIAA calls "mitigation measures," which include throttling down the customer's connection speed and suspending Web access until the subscriber agrees to stop pirating.
Whether or not this will deter or even dent the practice of piracy remains to be seen. In France where repeat offenders can lose their internet connections altogether, only 4% of file-sharers questioned said they curtailed their behavior because of this policy.
“This groundbreaking agreement ushers in a new day and a fresh approach to addressing the digital theft of copyrighted works,” RIAA’s Cary Sherman trumpeted in a comment.With proxy services like BTGuard which essentially mask your identity from your ISP, it would appear as if the ground broken by the RIAA may be too easy to walk around.