Corporate Vigilantes Not Waiting on Senator Leahy's Bill to Self-Police Peer to Peer Sharing

Big ISPs have agreed to degrade service to customers selected by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) or the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as copyright infringers.

Under an agreement published last week, the participating ISPs are responsible for matching IP addresses identified by the RIAA or MPAA to customer accounts, keeping "a record of repeat alleged infringers," and ultimately for degrading or otherwise interfering with their own service to customers. These service degradations are euphemistically called "Mitigation Measures."

Examples of "Mitigation Measures" include:

"(a) temporary reduction in uploading and/or downloading transmission speeds; (b) temporary step-down in the Subscriber’s service tier to (1) the lowest tier of Internet access service above dial-up service that the Participating ISP makes widely available to residential customers in the Subscriber’s community, or (2) an alternative bandwidth throughput rate low enough to significantly impact a Subscriber’s broadband Internet access service (e.g., 256 - 640 kbps); (c) temporary redirection to a Landing Page until the Subscriber contacts the Participating ISP to discuss with it the Copyright Alerts; (d) temporary restriction of the Subscriber’s Internet access for some reasonable period of time as determined in the Participating ISP’s discretion; (e) temporary redirection to a Landing Page for completion of a meaningful educational instruction on copyright; or (f) such other temporary Mitigation Measure as may be applied by the Participating ISP in its discretion that is designed to be comparable to those Mitigation Measures described above."

Here's a chart I did that summarizes a "system of alerts" spun in press releases and a website as a benefit to consumers who may be unwittingly participating in copyright infringement. You are free to re-use this chart under a Creative Commons attribution license; if you do so, please link back to this post.

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According to the agreement, the following ISPs are participating:

"SBC Internet Services, Inc., BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, Pacific Bell Telephone Company, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Incorporated, Michigan Bell Telephone Company, Nevada Bell Telephone Company, The Ohio Bell Telephone Company, Wisconsin Bell, Inc., The Southern New England Telephone Company, and BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. (the AT&T Inc. companies); Verizon Online LLC, Verizon Online LLC – Maryland, and Verizon Online Pennsylvania Partnership (the Verizon companies); Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC; CSC Holdings, LLC (solely with respect to its cable systems operating in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) (the Cablevision systems); and Time Warner Cable Inc."


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