Verizon will throttle repeat offenders in anti-piracy effort

Verizon customers suspected of copyright infringement will be warned, then their access slowed, in a plan under the Copyright Alert System

By Jared Newman, PC World |  Networking, piracy, Verizon

Verizon home Internet subscribers may get slapped with slower speeds for downloading too much pirated content and ignoring warnings to stop.

The company revealed its anti-piracy plans during a panel discussion in New York, TorrentFreak reports. The plans are part of a joint effort by Internet service providers and media companies, known as the Copyright Alert System, to warn and in some cases punish repeat offenders.

Under Verizon's approach, users suspected of copyright infringement first receive notifications by e-mail, telling them their accounts have been flagged. After two of those warnings, users then see a pop-up when they access the Internet, requiring them to confirm that they've read the message.

If infringement continues beyond the fourth warning, Verizon says it will significantly reduce the user's download speeds. However, the throttling is only temporary; speeds should go back to normal after a few days. Under the Copyright Alert System, subscribers who believe they're innocent can call for an independent review in exchange for a $35 filing fee.

Other ISPs plan campaigns

So far, few ISPs have been forthcoming about how they'll enforce the Copyright Alert System. When I reached out to AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon for details last month, only Time Warner provided answers.

Time Warner's system will be similar to Verizon's through the first four warnings. But instead of throttling repeat offenders, the company will disconnect users until they call Time Warner. "The suspension is just to get you to pick up the phone so you can listen to us preach about copyright infringement," spokesperson Alex Dudley told me at the time.

AT&T's approach, meanwhile, has been outlined in leaked training documents. The documents claim that with the fourth and fifth warnings, users who try to reach certain Websites will instead be rerouted to an educational page, where they'll have to take a brief tutorial on copyright laws.

AT&T's documents also note that after the fifth warning, content owners can get a court order to identify repeat offenders, and may take legal action. That's the case with all ISPs who participate in the Copyright Alert System.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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