Last July, the nation’s biggest ISPs agreed to a plan by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to start policing the internet. According to the plan, ISPs will warn ‘pirating’ users (who were tracked for downloading pirated music, movies or likes) to stop illegal file downloads, and if users don’t comply after several warnings, mitigations techniques will be applied which ranges from throttling down speed to web access filtering for certain sites. The effort is supported by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Cablevision. And, the plan is supposed to be effective from today.
The ISPs will send ‘educational notice’ to a user upon detection of illegal download of music, movies, software or likes by that user. If the user doesn’t stop after one or two notices, then a third warning notice will be issued asking confirmation of receipt and explaining possible legal hurdles he/she may face. If the user continues to ignore the warnings the ISP may choose from a pool of ‘mitigation techniques’ which include throttling down bandwidth, filtering web access, suspension of web access etc.
The question is, whether the actions comply with the fair usage policy and protects consumer rights? If not, then the Washington backed partnership may derail in a similar fashion to SOPA or PIPA. Let’s wait for the responses of the ‘pirates’ once the ‘internet cops’ starts rolling out the ‘Six Strikes’.