Executive Briefings

Internet Service Providers, Trade Groups Act to Stop Illegal Sharing of Movies, Music

Internet service providers and trade groups for movies and music are partnering in the latest effort to curb online copyright infringement. Under the "six strikes" plan, users who share copyrighted material online will face an escalating series of warnings that could eventually result in the slowing of their internet speeds.

Creators of the policy are hoping to succeed where attempts to punish online piracy through the courts and the federal government have failed, but the plan also raises a number of legal and logistical challenges, Wharton experts say.

The Copyright Alert System is a collaboration between some of the industry's heaviest hitters: five of the nation's largest internet providers (AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) and two of its most influential trade groups, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Although details of the six strikes plan surfaced just this year, the background work for the deal was years in the making, according to Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics.

"For a very long time, content owners have been pushing internet service providers to help them enforce intellectual property laws. Network operators have traditionally resisted for several reasons," he says, noting that ISPs chiefly were worried about the legality of blocking certain content and choosing what content goes on their network.

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Creators of the policy are hoping to succeed where attempts to punish online piracy through the courts and the federal government have failed, but the plan also raises a number of legal and logistical challenges, Wharton experts say.

The Copyright Alert System is a collaboration between some of the industry's heaviest hitters: five of the nation's largest internet providers (AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) and two of its most influential trade groups, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Although details of the six strikes plan surfaced just this year, the background work for the deal was years in the making, according to Kevin Werbach, a Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics.

"For a very long time, content owners have been pushing internet service providers to help them enforce intellectual property laws. Network operators have traditionally resisted for several reasons," he says, noting that ISPs chiefly were worried about the legality of blocking certain content and choosing what content goes on their network.

Read Full Article