AT&T prepares to disconnect over a dozen pirates

How much piracy does it take to have your internet connection terminated in the US? The answer to that question will surely depend on your ISP's policies, the countermeasures used to hide that piracy, and how you respond to repeated warnings from your ISP that they know you are infringing copyright. For over a dozen AT&T customers, the tolerance limit has been reached and their service is about to be terminated.

As Axios reports, for the very first time implementing its own piracy policies, AT&T is preparing to disconnect "more than a dozen" customers because of repeated copyright infringement.

AT&T says it initially responded to evidence provided by content owners, which could be any of the major content producers including TV, movie, or music rights groups. The policy is then to identify the customers and contact them regarding the copyright infringement. Education and assistance was also provided to help them understand and ultimately stop infringing.

From that group, a small number continued to infringe. As The Verge confirms, AT&T's policies state that at least nine warnings are sent to each customer informing them they risk having their service canceled. Clearly those warnings have been repeatedly ignored by this small group and they are about to get a rude awakening.

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AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner back in June, although that may not be the end of the matter. Is it just coincidence that these account terminations are happening now that AT&T owns a major content network? That seems likely if at least nine warnings have been issued to each customer. However, it does show that the ISP and content owner being the same entity could streamline the identify-warn-terminate process in the future.

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