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US ISPs close to colluding with MPAA, RIAA on 3-strike rules

updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu June 23, 2011

ISPs may take graduated response under RIAA heat

American Internet service providers were reported late Wednesday as near giving into pressure from the MPAA and RIAA into adopting a graduated response system to alleged piracy. AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and others are believed to be near deals that could be made public in July that would toughen responses with each successive discovery. The White House as well as the National Cable and Telecommunications Association were claimed by CNET to have helped broker the deal.

The approach would be less extreme than the French three-strikes law, where a court has the authority to ban a user from the Internet, but would follow a similar pattern. Those accused of infringing would first get written copyright alerts with follow-ups should they ignore the warnings. Eventually, an ISP would have to take one of several possible actions, including limiting users to the 200 most popular Internet sites, speed throttling, or a mandatory copyright 'education' program.

To offset the burden, copyright holders would share some of the expenses.

Such plans have drawn criticism and threatened legal action. Internet providers have usually resisted such measures and would risk losing their safe harbor principles, or the arguments that they can't be punished for acts committed on their networks without their clear knowledge. The system would theoretically invite the MPAA or RIAA to sue if they thought an ISP ignored an instance of piracy.

The approach also deliberately ignores the authenticity of the claims. Known instances have emerged of Internet users being falsely accused of piracy or other crimes, either because they ran unprotected Wi-Fi access points or because a child was downloading bootlegged material that had been kept secret. If the new proposal is true as-is, it wouldn't make a distinction between individual people using an account and wouldn't give them a recourse if they were genuinely innocent.

Crtitics have noted that the Obama administration has been at times uncomfortably close to the traditional music and movie industries and has tried to keep controversial trade deals like the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) a secret knowing that the public at large would object to harsh anti-piracy measures contained inside.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Limiting to the 200 most popular internet sites? O_O

    This is the f****** internet people. Blocking access is practically the same as cutting off power. It's a freaking utility in the 21st century for crying out loud.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's not the Left vs. the Right.

    It's the State vs. You.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re:It's not the Left vs. the Right

    Exactly. This is another example how the federal government, under both parties, has become way too invasive in our lives and is h***-bent on stripping our freedoms at will.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    s**** 'em all

    the MPAA and RIAA are a greater threat to american liberty and the economy than communism was.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the real issue

    is providing who did what. A lot of folks out there are idiots about tech and they have wifi with no passwords or a really easy one which means that the kids next door could be the guilty party not the access owner. But the ISPs take the stance that you are too blame for everything that happens via your access, thus if you aren't protecting your 'network' you deserve to be punished.

    And at the same time that they are screaming about piracy they aren't doing anything to provide another choice. Get your heads out of your butts and face it, physical disks are dying. Stop with this c*** of making places like Netflix wait 2 months after the dvd release to have a movie. It should be more like 2 months after the theatre release is over. Many folks hate going to the theatres cause of the crazy prices, the idiots texting and bringing their babies. They are more than happy to pay $20 to "rent" a digital copy of the movie to watch at home. Especially when it is a clean copy and not some cam. So let them. and so on

    Comment buried. Show
  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    my gawd

    your freedom and will is being threatened? communism? because an isp says hey steal all you want but not through us?

    at what point did freedom mean you could take what you want without repurcussions? at what point did you lose the free will to say "hey, i'm not going to steal c*** so i won't have to worry about this"?

    i really like the threat to american liberty and economy. you got something more or because you typed that out we're supposed to just believe it? you have something with some substance maybe? some in depth analyses to make your point? or is a soundbite good enough for you?

  1. facebook_Pete

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    democracy leads to authoritarian

    This isn't surprising as this has always been the case with democracy leading to authoritarian. We live in an Orwellian Era. Welcome to 1984.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    another fine statement. you say it as though they are always exclusive. they are not. you say it as though there are never external forces being applied. that's not true. you say it as though authoritarianism has never lead to democracy. that is not true.

    "always" is a strong word to use on something as complex as this.

    nice try though.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    hey mpaa

    Look at this picture.

    Then understand why people 'steal' your movies.

    Perhaps if you treated the buying public as, I don't know, valued customers instead of potential thieves AND as future customers. It's insane ("Watch this warning about not stealing our stuff. Now watch this trailer to entice you to buy more stuff.")

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: my gawd

    your freedom and will is being threatened? communism? because an isp says hey steal all you want but not through us?

    No, because some group tells my ISP that an IP address at some time was performing an illegal act. ISP then goes into its logs and removes personal information. They then inform the customer.

    Problem: 1) The ISP's logs may be in error (they're not perfect). 2) The MPAA/RIAA incorrectly recorded and/or transmitted the information. 3) The MPAA/RIAA incorrectly determined a violation took place.

    at what point did freedom mean you could take what you want without repurcussions? at what point did you lose the free will to say "hey, i'm not going to steal c*** so i won't have to worry about this"?

    At what point do I lose my right to argue my case and prove my innocence? When did the word of a corporate entity who have a long history of using fear and bullying tactics to get their way supersede the word of the individual?

    Not to mention that it had been shown time and again that the people doing the investigating are either acting illegally or actually causing the act to be considered legal (since the investigator is given the permission by the company to download the material in order to find the culprits, that download can't be considered 'illegal'!).

    BTW, how would you like it if your local bank or fast food joint decided to tell your insurance company that you were speeding through the drive-thru, and the insurance company, in turn, raised your rates. Same concept.

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