Internet users who illegally download copyright material could have their net speeds throttled and their internet access restricted to select sites, as US Internet service providers (ISPs) throw their weight in opposition to online piracy.

The Dark Knight is a pirate favourite
Five ISPs in the US, including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon, are each combating illegal piracy through a variety of methods.

Verizon subscribers who continue to infringe copyright content could have their internet speeds throttled. Pirates will be warned prior through emails and voice messages.

Internet pirates using Time Warner Cable’s services will be warned by pop up messages. If the warnings prove futile, repeat offenders will then have their internet access restricted as they’re routed to a landing page.

In Australia, broadcasting networks have been forced to fast track episodes of popular TV shows in an effort to hedge the number of people downloading them illegally. Local ISPs currently issue email notices alone.

The US initiatives have been referred to as the “six-strike” policy and according to the TorrentFreak, will be put into effect this month. They’re part of the Center for Copyright Information initiative formed in September of 2011 between the five ISPs, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The body aims at stopping online pirates and suggesting a legal file sharing option.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who advocates digital freedom, criticised the ISP’s proposed actions, saying to the BBC “big media companies are launching a massive peer-to-peer surveillance scheme to snoop on subscribers.”

They added ISPs will be acting as “Hollywood’s private enforcement arm.”

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