ISPs Not Thrilled that New Copyright Infringement Rules will Turn Them into Piracy Police

By Tracey E. Schelmetic July 12, 2011

While the White House has confirmed it is commitment to stopping intellectual property theft in the form of copyright infringement, not everybody is thrilled by the Obama administration’s methods, which some feel are turning Internet Service Providers (ISPs) into the Internet police.

Turns out, the ISPs aren’t all that happy about it, either, even if entertainment companies that provide the music, films and television content are thrilled to pieces.

“The joining of Internet service providers and entertainment companies in a cooperative effort to combat online infringement can further this goal and we commend them for reaching this agreement. We believe it will have a significant impact on reducing online piracy,” said the White House in a statement.

To enforce the White House’s new plan, U.S.-based ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable have grudgingly agreed to notify suspected copyright violators though a series of escalating warnings, reports PaidContent.org. It’s unclear what the “escalation” will lead to, since the new law does not require that ISPs suspend the service of repeat offenders, nor does it require that the ISP reveal your name and address to the copyright holders. (It’s hardly in the ISPs best interest to give you an incentive to leave them and choose a competing provider.)

While many of these larger ISPs – such as the cable providers – have an interest in protecting content, some smaller ISPs without a dog in the race may find their new responsibilities onerous.

This is apparently the way it’s going to work. As they already do now, entertainment content copyright holders will scan the Internet looking for incidences of infringement and “sniff out” suspect IP addresses from peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, reports ars technica. If the content providers see your IP address doing something it ought not to be doing with their material, they will look up your IP address to see which ISP controls it, then “tattle” on your to your ISP, which will then begin to send you “you’ve been naughty” messages. 

Presumably, if you’ve been caught dipping into content you didn’t pay for properly too many times, while the ISP need not rat you out, the content providers can start legal proceedings against you...if they can find you.

So be nice.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It’s also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.



Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Nevada: Silver State to Tech Center

By: Doug Mohney    4/24/2015

Silver was the primary mineral mined in Nevada when it was admitted to the union in 1864, earning it the slogan of "The Silver State." Times changed, …

Read More

Comcast, Telecoms Need to Clean Up Their Own Houses

By: Doug Mohney    4/24/2015

Big telecom mergers just don't fly these days, but it took Comcast 14 months and at least $237 million spent in 2014 to figure it out it couldn't buy …

Read More

Creating a Smarter Network Infrastructure for the Connected World

By: TMCnet Special Guest    4/24/2015

The need to be connected to the 'smarter world' is ever increasing with the rise in the number of mobile devices. LTE is now a global reality for mill…

Read More

Major League Baseball's Sports Analytics Deliver Next-Gen Stats

By: Bob Wallace    4/24/2015

Get your next-gen stats here! Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MBLAM) this week launched "next-generation" stats league-wide that it hopes will c…

Read More

My Neighbor and Your Enterprise Data Privacy: They're Not as Unrelated as You Think

By: TMCnet Special Guest    4/23/2015

If you give your house key to your neighbor, he has the opportunity to snoop around through your vinyl album collection. That has lessons for enterpri…

Read More