Verizon, AT&T, and the nation's three other largest Internet service providers are really cracking down on piracy. It was announced this week that the companies have teamed up with the recording and film industry to create the "Copyright Alert System," which will target anyone who pirates music—i.e. nearly 70% of the country—and send them notices when they're been detected sharing files illegally. The P2P users will be warned six times before the Internet service provider takes "drastic steps."
What are the drastic steps?
"Temporarily slowing [users] connection, or redirecting Internet traffic until they acknowledge they received a notice, or review educational materials about copyright law.
Consumers who maintain they have been wrongly accused would be forced to pay $35 to appeal the decision. The fee would be reimbursed if they prevail."
Wait, really? That's it? Six changes to stop pirating (or to find a different way to get away with it) and then—if you're a stubborn bastard and decide to press on—you're just left with a slower Internet connection?
This is amazingly leniant. It's an admirable reverse of course for the recording and film industries. Seriously, this isn't me being sarcastic. We all remember when 15-year-olds were sued for thousands of dollars after downloading 14 songs off Kazaa. Or that totally reasonable lawsuit in 2011 when the RIAA sued Limewire for $72 trillion. We've gone from the recording industry suing a P2P software company for more money than there is in the entire fucking world to a six-strike policy for anyone breaking the law.
Let's face it: This is a welcome development.