ISP Comcast Praises Voluntary BitTorrent Crackdown Agreement
Under the agreement a third-party company will collect the IP-addresses of alleged infringers on BitTorrent and other public file-sharing networks. The ISPs will then notify these offenders and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable. After six warnings the ISP may then take a variety of repressive measures, which includes the option to cut off the offender’s connection temporarily.
In his talk Comcast’s Vice President explained that the “six-strikes” system is needed because the DMCA law doesn’t work well for P2P infringements. Instead, the copyright holders and ISPs needed a more flexible approach, which culminated in the copyright alerts system and a historic memorandum of understanding.
Lewis went on to emphasize that the deal safeguards the privacy of subscribers, as copyright holders don’t get the personal details of alleged pirates. The warnings are mostly educational, informative, and point people to sources where they can download content legally. Additionally, Lewis said it’s important that the repressive measures don’t disrupt vital services such as phone calls.
He further noted that while ISPs are now playing a valuable role, more anti-piracy work can be done with other parties. Payment processors and search engines could be around the table as well according to Comcast’s Vice President.
Overall, Lewis said that a flexible and voluntary agreement is a good model to follow, but that they are still learning as the system is being rolled out. The effectiveness of the copyright alerts system remains to be seen.