Bandwidth providers and media companies may soon reach a new agreement on punishments for intellectual property piracy on the internet. Cnet reports that the companies, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, would be making a deal that cracks down harder than ever before on music and video piracy. ISPs’ options would include reducing pirates’ bandwidth, limiting the number of websites users can visit until they cease pirating, or requiring pirates to participate in copyright law and intellectual property education courses.
Previously, the final action against pirates was a termination of service; under the proposed plan, termination of service is no longer required. The new graduated response plan for ISPs allows handling of piracy on a case-by-case basis, but requires serious action for the worst offenders. The plan makes copyright enforcement a main duty of ISPs.
The agreement is not yet signed, but it is rumored that the agreement will be publicly revealed next month. If the deal is made, the new plan will mark the first time major bandwidth providers openly adopt a graduated response program against illegal file sharing.