This July major US Internet service providers will start assisting copyright holders in their fight against online copyright infringement. Major ISPs including Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable will begin fulfilling their obligations under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year, which will see the providers send out copyright infringement warnings to their millions of customers.
Under a White House and lawmaker supported “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) published last July, ISPs will send advisories to alleged copyright-infringing customers.
The first so-called ‘Initial Educational Steps’ will advise customers that copyright infringement is illegal and a breach of the ISP’s terms of service, that legal alternatives are available, and that continuing to infringe may have consequences including account suspension or termination.
The Acknowledgment Step, reached when an Internet subscriber is accused of additional infringements by rights holders, will see ISPs send Copyright Alerts requiring acknowledgment of receipt from account holders along with a pledge to end infringing activity from the account.
Should several attempts at ‘educating’ a subscriber fail, ISPs will be able to send a Mitigation Measure Copyright Alert which again requires customer acknowledgment. It will advise that a customer has received prior warnings and as per the ISPs terms of service, a ‘Mitigation Measure’ will now be applied to the account.