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US ISPs become 'copyright cops' starting July 12

Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other Internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States will soon launch new programs to police their networks in an effort to catch digital pirates and stop illegal file-sharing.

Major ISPs announced last summer that they had agreed to take new measures in an effort to prevent subscribers from illegally downloading copyrighted material, but the specifics surrounding the imminent antipiracy measures were not made available. Now, RIAA chief executive Cary Sherman has said that ISPs are ready to begin their efforts to curtail illegal movie, music and software downloads on July 12.

“Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system,” Sherman said during a talk at the annual Association of American Publishers meeting, according to CNET. Measures will also be taken to establish databases “so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion.”

Customers found to be illegally downloading copyrighted material will first receive one or two notifications from their ISPs, essentially stating that they have been caught. If the illegal downloads continue, subscribers will receive a new notice requesting acknowledgement that the notice has been received. Subsequent offenses can then result in bandwidth throttling and even service suspension.

The news comes shortly after the closure of file-sharing giant Megaupload and increased pressure on other networks thought to be major hubs for the illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. Some studies show that these measures have had no impact on piracy, however, so organizations like the RIAA have been lobbying for ISPs to intervene and develop systems that will allow them to police their networks and directly address subscribers who illegally download copyrighted content.

This content was originally published on BGR.com

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