ISPs To Monitor Online Copyright Infringment

Published August 26, 2011

Five U.S. Internet service providers, partnering with Hollywood movie studios and record labels, will begin issuing online warnings to consumers sending or receiving pirated material. Continued copyright abuse will result in punishments such as slower Internet speeds.

AT&T, Cablevision Systems Corp., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, and Verizon will all participate in the new monitoring system, according to a press announcement by the Center for Copyright Information this July.

“The decision to police customers will only increase [customer service] rates and challenge [customers’] privacy,” said Rajesh Goel, chief technology officer at Brainlink International, Inc. “Requiring ISPs to become copyright police is not a good solution. It sets the framework for really intrusive Internet traffic monitoring. This copyright enforcement is a smokescreen for drastically eliminating privacy rights on the Internet,” he said.

“A collaborative, industry-driven solution is always better than having government-imposed measures,” said Christopher V. Cook, a technology partner at Vale, Duval, and Chambers,an Atlanta, Georgia-based telecommunications consulting firm. “This approach establishes a channel for future dialogue allowing the parties to evolve their solution over time as the market may change,” he said.

“This system shows how copyright holders can work with other companies and come up with arrangements to protect their intellectual property without draconian and heavy-handed governmental involvement,” said John Bambenek, chief forensic examiner for Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, Illinois. “Extreme governmental intrusions have had a host of unintended consequences that were wholly unnecessary,” he said.

“This arrangement should be the first step in removing the federal government as a law-enforcement vigilante on behalf of copyright holders while less intrusive means are made sufficient to protect everyone’s interests,” Bambenek concluded.

Krystle Russin ([email protected]) writes from Texas.

Internet Info:

“Music, Film, TV, and Broadband Collaborate to Curb Online Content Theft,” Center for Copyright Information press release, July 7, 2011: