ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

Summary: Internet service providers have a multi-pronged approach to deter piracy. The master plan: Become annoying enough so content pirates won't bother.

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Internet service providers have a multi-pronged approach to deter piracy. The master plan: Become annoying enough so content pirates won't bother.

CNET News' Greg Sandoval reports that ISPs are planning a so-called "graduated approach" to piracy. In many respects, the plan resembles what happens when you speed and you get points on your driver's license. You get warnings, education to reform you, restrictions and potentially booted from the network. Apparently those public awareness campaigns (right) from the movie and music industry didn't do the trick.

Sandoval writes:

Under the proposed plan, participating bandwidth providers would adopt a "graduated response" to subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights. ISPs would first issue written warnings, called Copyright Alerts, to customers accused by copyright owners of downloading materials illegally via peer-to-peer sites, the sources said. Should a subscriber fail to heed the warning, an ISP could choose to send numerous follow-up notices. Eventually, the plan requires ISPs to take more serious action.

Scared yet? In theory and on the whiteboard the plan makes some sense. However, it's questionable whether ISPs will really deter piracy. Nevertheless, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, the music and movie industry and even the White House have been trying to cut a deal for years.

Now we're ready to see this anti-piracy effort in full bloom. You'll get various reactions. Among them:

  • The faux privacy worrywarts will scream because ISPs will inspect packets of data.
  • ISP supporters will argue that the move is a natural extension of an open Internet. ISPs are doing their part to deter illegal activity.
  • And most customers won't care.

Aside from those rather predictable reactions the question is whether this system will work. For instance, will an imposed limit to 200 top Web sites really do much? How about the escalating nagging? In fact, don't be surprised if someone cooks up a workaround.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Browser, Piracy, Security, Telcos

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34 comments
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  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    Not very "net neutral", is it?
    bannedagain
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      I find it funny that Hollywood and the Music industry are STILL floundering over digital media. They refuse to move their business model over to the digital side when they could clearly do so and cut down on illegal downloading by doing so.<br><br>Rather than treating the internet as a third-tier nation that gets all the releases LAST, they could make much more money by offering theater blockbusters ONLINE! Yes it'd undercut some people, but that's life. They could easily offer things like extended trailers (30 minute clip anyone?) and even the whole movie for "Digital rent or purchase" for a low price. $2 or even up to $7 wouldn't be asking far too much for any movie...and it beats the "cattle experience" you get at a real movie theater. You'll be able to watch the movie at home, in the comfort of your own couch/chair/sofa/bed. XD<br><br>The more that the MPAA, and RIAA members fight against the grain and refuse to adopt an Internet Friendly business model, the more they will inevitably suffer. No longer will the average man pay exorbitantly to bite into the carrot dangled before him...he shall simply bite into it. If the carrot is rotten he shall spit it out and pay nothing. If the carrot is sweet, then the carrot dangling party gets their just reward and payment. :P

      It is not worth paying theater prices for a crappy movie. I saw Green Lantern, it wasn't great but it was acceptable. (Note this; I didn't pay for that one...someone else took up the tab on that) Later that day I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and it was far better. I paid for that movie ticket myself and didn't regret it. In fact I intend to BUY that movie as soon as I can buy it in digital format...then I'll rip the scuzzy DRM shrink-wrap off of it and keep it. I'd buy it on DVD or Blu-ray if they didn't charge so damned much for it.
      ZazieLavender
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @ZazieLavender

      It's even funnier after you've gotten one of their "written warnings".

      What I've noticed is that the content they watch isn't even the content you want most to partake in. In fact, if they'd start using the software they're using to find those who are downloading, they'd realize there's a goldmine here.

      Give the first 5 episodes of any new show ad-free, find out if it's being downloaded at a rapid pace or slowing down per episode, insert ads based on popularity and charge accordingly to the advertisers.

      It would be the googlefication of television and would be extremely good for both consumers and content providers.

      Of course, they're not that smart in media-land. Otherwise, they would've already realized this.

      Also, the future of movies isn't downloading, it's streaming.
      tmsbrdrs
  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    Just another way for the internet gate keepers to #uck us. I am not surprised.
    MLHACK
  • And where is there warrent to inspect my &quot;mail?&quot;

    There are wiretapping laws. Deep packet inspection for this purpose may just fall afoul of federal laws.

    And saying the agreement to use the service granted them the right may just not fly...
    pjboyles
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @peter.j.boyles@...

      Hear hear. Illegal search and seizure anyone?
      josh92
      • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

        @josh92
        Thanks to Bush/Cheney these laws don't hold water anymore. LE can use the patriot act for pretty much anything. They could successfully argue that it's interstate commerce b/c you are crossing state borders. So now it's a federal issue. They could then argue that access to pirated movies gives terrorists the ability to sell them, thus funding terrorist activities.

        The answer will be greater and forced encryption between p2p clients and/or use of secured VPN tunnels.

        Many ISP's already use packet inspection to manage and/or block p2p traffic. This will just make it easier for the movie and music industries to rape your wallet and steal your assets.
        mschauber
      • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

        @josh92 Illegal search & seizure laws pertain to government entities, not private industry. The recording & movie labels, as well as your ISP are all private entities, they can search your data all they want without running afoul of the 4th Amendment.
        bigsibling
      • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

        @bigsibling

        That depends on how deeply the government is involved. As was mentioned in the article, it's not just a private issue here. They're trying to make it illegal. Once it's brought into law, illegal search and seizure is back on the table.
        tmsbrdrs
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @peter.j.boyles@... you should know by now that we are all guilty until proven innocent! Haven't you seen what you must watch before each movie when you buy a DVD or a blue ray?
      freakqnc
  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    Despite claims of piracy, internet users are already paying for downloading "pirated" movies. The money goes to the ISP as data charges. I would suggest it might be better for the ISPs to work out a payment plan for the copyright owners as they are facilitating this "piracy" themselves.

    If anything is broadcast anywhere on the planet it's available as a torrent in a few hours. Prevention can't work, so some other royalty deals should be worked out.
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @tonymcs@...
      "I would suggest it might be better for the ISPs to work out a payment plan for the copyright owners as they are facilitating this 'piracy' themselves."

      Let's pray they don't do that. Sounds like the ludicrous taxes on blank media in some countries where a percentage (a LARGE one) goes to musicians. How they decide /which/ musicians deserve it is beyond me, but just as I don't expect to be charged for someone else's piracy (intentionally) in the cost of my blank media, nor do I expect to be charged for someone else's online piracy in the form of a higher ISP bill.

      The answer is NOT to spread the misery to the innocent, but for the MPAA and RIAA to form a 21st century business model. Hey MPAA and RIAA: The 1980's called; they want their business model back!
      Software Architect 1982
  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    Obamo Admin. is just a pawn of Hollyweird and the RIAA- not surprised they are pushing this. It's not like we have real issues to address in this country....
    pooletal41
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @pooletal41 >> So, considering this has been whined about since the last year of GWH Bush's administration (1992), how do you figure it is Obama's fault? Go back to your Tea-tard sites and let the adults talk computers.
      AttackComputerWhiz
      • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

        @AttackComputerWhiz
        I didn't see you getting upset at someone blaming Bush & Cheney above. I take great offense at your childish label of a movement that I'm proudly a part of. I'm not going to insult YOUR politics. Don't bash ours. Try to keep it civil.
        Software Architect 1982
  • You left out one reaction: countermeasures.

    There are already filesharing protocols and systems out there beginning to implement countermeasures, including encryption, spoofing, and modified discovery mechanisms. ISPs can still spot P2P links just by traffic volumes, but will not be able to perform DPI to "prove" that illegal filesharing is taking place. And of course P2P isn't the only means of filesharing, just the one with the highest volume at present.

    ISP's will be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. They still depend on customers to generate revenues, so they can't afford to alienate or disconnect millions of customers without a hit to their bottom line. The media cartels are *not* going to pay the ISPs enough money to replace that lost revenue stream.
    terry flores
    • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

      @terry flores
      exactly. has history taught these tyrants nothing about trying to make stuff "hack proof"? BD encryption, DVD encryption, HDMI encryption, anybody?
      please. i look forward to getting the first client that subverts these greedy bastards.
      bc3tech
      • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

        @bc3tech People who are trying to protect their stuff from being stolen are not "tyrants". I also think the term "greedy bastards" applies more to thieves than to those selling wares.
        jgm@...
  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    It's baffled me that there hasn't been consumer demand for some form of self-organizing wireless networks. Everything else on the internet is becoming de-centralized. The hardware ought to be too. Except for covering gaps, ISPs don't actually serve a useful purpose.
    rgcustomer@...
  • RE: ISPs plot graduated response to piracy: Can this plan really work?

    Encrypted VPN to offshore account. Check, your move media cartels.
    Alan Smithie