Illegal Downloaders' Punishment: Slow Internet
Internet providers strike deal to penalize pirates
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2011 10:19 AM CDT
The ISPs haven't specified just how slow they plan to make the service of suspected illegal downloaders.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Media companies and Internet providers have agreed on a system to put the brakes on the service of users of illegal file-sharing services. The ISPs have agreed to alert customers up to six times if they believe their account is being used to illegally download music and movie, Reuters reports. After repeated warnings via email or pop-up windows, offenders will have their Internet speed slowed down or could find themselves redirected to an educational page about copyright law. Consumers will be allowed to appeal and ISPs won't be allowed to disclose their identities to the entertainment industry.

The plan, which has been in the works for several years, stops short of cutting off the service of suspected pirates as content producers had wanted, the Financial Times reports. The president of the Recording Industry Association of America says the plan is aimed more at "scaring straight" occasional users of file-sharing services than stamping out all online piracy. "If we can convert a lot of those casual infringers to become legitimate purchasers, that can make a huge difference," he tells the Wall Street Journal.