ISPs to Implement 'Graduated Response' to Piracy

Lyla Katz

LOS ANGELES — Some of the country’s top Internet service providers are one step closer to working out a deal with media and entertainment companies to develop tougher punishments for customers who refuse to stop using their networks to pirate content.

According to, sources said that a deal is in the works and is expected to be unveiled next month.

Under the plan, bandwith providers would adopt a “gradual response” to subscribers who continue to infringe on copyrights that include sending several written warning to customers accused by content owners of pirating their material on peer-to-peer sites.  

The ISPs can also choose from a menu of choices in how to address the toughest cases. The ISP can choose to throttle a customer’s bandwith speed or limit their web access.

The plan also outlines various consequences for chronic infringers such as allowing them to only visit the top 200 websites until the file sharing stops or the subscriber may be have to participate in an educational program on copyright law.

ISPs and content owners would share the cost of operating the program, sources said.