ISPs Adopt Piracy Warning System

Rhett Pardon

NEW YORK — The nation's top Internet service providers on Thursday said they would take a larger role in fighting against pirated content through a graduated response to subscribers who continue to infringe on works by pirating material on BitTorrent or other file-sharing programs.

AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have agreed to send up to six electronic alerts to customers who download content illegally.

Those customers who receive alerts will likely have their access restricted or suspended until they discuss the violation with the ISP.

Before their Internet access is restricted, users will have the option of requesting an independent review at a cost of $35. That process will determine whether an account was identified incorrectly or whether a download was actually lawful.

The alerts will be sent out under the newly created Center for Copyright Information, which will include the six major film studios, record labels such as Warner and EMI and the ISPs. Along with the MPAA and the RIAA, the Independent Producers and Distributors of Film and Television Programing also is involved.