ISPs Destroy Open Internet to Stop Piracy, Invokes Facepalm
Posted on Friday, July 8 @ 05:07:45 Eastern by Nicholas Tan
Internet Service Providers AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast Verizon, and Time Warner Cable have come to an agreement with the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and other organizations for independent filmmakers and record companies to create a uniform policy to fight digital copyright infringement.
In early 2012, these four ISPs will warn customers of infringement with a procedure of six graduated responses, from a simple warning email to "mitigation measures" like slowed connections or a complete block from appearing in Internet searches. Users must acknowledge these notices and can also contest the complaints. A Center for Copyright Information, with a board represented by media companies and the ISPs, will monitor this alert system and regulate these policies
However, this system of "guilty before proven innocent" will likely be an overwhelming headache for customers. If a major organization or company says that so-and-so has infringed on their property, do you really think that these ISPs will even care about for that so-and-so who has litle to no power (read: money) on their side? How much potential profits and effort do you think these ISPs will even use to verify a claim? How soon before we hear people whose Internet service they paid for is cut off for copyright infringement that they never committed?
Net neutrality is a hotly debated topic and those in favor of it can see this step as a legal Trojan Horse for ISPs to control the Internet by differentiating and discriminating against specific people and companies. If the ISPs don't like this story I'm writing about them, will Game Revolution soon suffer "slowed connections" for copyright infringement? Could this be the start of a slippery slope to over-monitoring and a complete lack of privacy, since everything you submit on the Internet is technically tracked through an ISP already? Should I consider using the post office more often?
I can also see hackers having a field day, not just hackers who are likely going to attack these ISPs out of their sense of justice, but also those who just enjoy pestering folks for the Lulz. While this will make our future news stories a lot easier to project, the worst part about it all this will hardly do a damn thing to pirates. As much as I feel sympathy for small copyright owners or victims of piracy who don't have much recourse, this will not prevent piracy. If anything, it will just make pirates more aggressive and encourage them to find ways around the new system. Why? Because they're pirates.
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