What Will Your ISP Do to Enforce Copyright Laws?

When the news came out that certain ISPs and Hollywood had struck a deal to try and curb the illegal use of copyrighted material, the first thought that crossed my mind was how is this going to be enforced? Once the smoke cleared, however, it became apparent that we didn’t have to worry about enforcement since the goal was to simply discourage the average Internet user from illegally downloading or providing illegal files to be downloaded from their Web site.

So who in the industry has signed on to this deal to protect copyrighted material? Well it probably won’t surprise you that ISP giants Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Verizon, and Comcast are but a few to have joined forces with four of the major record companies, as well as several Hollywood studios. The agreement purports that it will produce a procedure in which a client, who is in violation of the rules, will be issued a number of warnings before having their Internet account terminated.

This means that the average Internet user who is honest and does not file share or download illegal material has absolutely nothing (nada) to worry about. Of course there will always be those who will make outlandish claims that our privacy will be invaded, that our rights will be violated, or some other nonsense — but the fact remains that 99% of Internet users will not be affected nor should they be concerned about this agreement.

However, you could find yourself accused of illegal activity and find yourself labeled as a pirate if someone, other than yourself, accessed your system without your knowledge. In such a situation, who decides your fate? The answer to this question is unknown and my greatest concern is that you could then find yourself on a blacklist that could result in your potentially being banned for life from accessing the Internet.

Another concern I have is that the procedure for filing a protest is going to be left with the Hollywood music and movie industries. Who are these people? Are they going to set up specific regulations, or will their lack of regulations result in situations where the American people are once again swindled out of billions of our hard earned dollars as happened with the fairly recent US bank scandals? I don’t think for an instant that the Hollywood moguls are doing this for our good but rather will do anything they can to put our money in their pockets so they can improve their already extravagant lifestyles.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.