While the UK industry continues to wrangle with ISPs over the implementation of the Digital Economy Act, the US industry appears to be going down the voluntary route. US ISPs including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision and Time Warner have signed up to a scheme alongside music and movie industry bodies that will see up to a six-step warning process for persistent infringers. The initiative will see rightsholders passing details of IP addresses to the ISPs, who will forward on warnings to their customers, but will NOT hand over those subscriber details to the rightsholder without a court order. The first two alerts will be educational, while the third and fourth will require the user to acknowledge receipt. At the fifth alert, ‘mitigation measures’ can kick in, including slowing the subscriber’s broadband connection, although ISPs can waive this until the sixth alert. The agreement was brokered by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and has been hailed by Verizon as “a sensible approach to the problem of online content-theft and, importantly, one that respects the privacy and rights of our subscribers”. There is a knock-on effect for the UK, with BIP boss Geoff Taylor using the news to fuel a new stinging attack on two particular British ISPs. “It’s time for the foot-dragging to stop. ISPs like BT and Talk Talk should be helping to build an Internet that benefits law-abiding consumers, rather than pulling every trick they can to hold on to revenue from illegal traffic… The music industry is keen to work as partners with all ISPs. This US announcement demonstrates clearly that such a partnership is the future.” Source: Ars Technica Source: Financial Times
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