It’s been a long time coming, but the United States’ major internet service providers are finally implementing a system which will disrupt internet service for alleged copyright infringers. Although Washington failed to pass anti-piracy bills like SOPA and the Protect IP act, this new system is effective at the industry-level. Partners include AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. The system is referred to as a “six strikes” plan, because most subscribers have six chances before their internet connection is terminated.

The agreement is not as severe as it could be: ISPs are not required to filter copyrighted material transiting through their network. On the other hand, this agreement is backed by both the MPAA and the RIAA, so it has loud anti-sharing institutions backing it.  Apparently, after the first strike, offenders will get a message saying something to the effect that “this account may have used” for content theft. The second strike will offer information on copyright law. The third strike will produce a pop-up that must be acknowledged to be dismissed. Punitive action starts on the fourth strike.

The worst part? If you get a warning, it will cost $35 to challenge it. You’ll only get one free pass if you claim it’s because your network is unsecured. And according to the Center For Copyright Information, the organizing body, the system will launch by the end of the year.

The Center For Copyright Information has an FAQ you can read here.

Photo courtesy of Glenn Fleishman.

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