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ISPs set to crack down on Internet piracy

The immediate question that comes to mind is what took them so long? CNET News.com is reporting this evening that the nation's top Internet Service Providers are close to ordering a crackdown on customers who abuse their networks "to pirate films, music and other intellectual property."

It's perhaps a sign of the lingering distrust that still informs the sometimes brittle relations between the ISPs and the media and entertainment companies, who have complained extensively about online piracy for years, that the two sides only now are on the verge of issuing something akin to a joint communique supporting a get-tough policy. And this still isn't a done deal. As CNET  notes, the agreement, slated to get announced next month, remains unsigned and still might unravel.

Hollywood and the big recording labels have long pressured ISPs to get more aggressive toward illegal file-sharing. The plan, under discussion features a "graduated response" toward repeat offenders. "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," according to CNET. You can read the full story by clicking here.

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