For years, content pirates have been running rampant on the web, downloading anything and everything they want for free without too many real repercussions for their actions.
This is because until recently, it was believed that the ISPs in control of the wires needed a court order to actually terminate the service of repeat offenders, but this may no longer be the case. In a recent TorrentFreak article, it’s reported that for the first time ever telecom giant AT&T will terminate the accounts of twelve repeat copyright violators. Read the article here.
Previously, a now-defunct “Copyright Alert System” was used to warn any account holders when copyrighted material was being downloaded through their network. Generally, this happened through P2P BitTorrent traffic, though direct downloads could also be flagged when detected from various file hosting sites. Back when the CAS was the norm, a network abuser could receive an infinite number of warnings without their service actually being disrupted as a result of their actions.
Now, however, AT&T has broken the mold and decided to lead the way in the fight against online pirates:
“Based on the notices we received, we identified the customer on the account and shared with them the information we received. We also reached out to the customer to educate them about copyright infringement and offer assistance to help prevent the activity from continuing,” said an AT&T spokesperson.
“A small number of customers who continue to receive additional copyright infringement notifications from content owners despite our efforts to educate them will have their service discontinued.”
The infringing parties in question received a minimum of nine separate warnings about their downloading practices before AT&T decided to pull the plug on their service. But when you consider that these 12 users are just a small portion of the millions of data pirates operating on the web today, it becomes clear how severe of a problem ISPs face in this uphill battle against copyright violations.
Major telecoms need help to handle the thousands of piracy violations flags that bombard their network every day. By automating the more mundane tasks of copyrighted content violation detection, violation clustering, and customer outreach, ISP employees are freed up to use their time more effectively and efficiently.
Whether this means taking a hands-on approach to deciding which users are considered more high-risk or collaborating on reports which break down the most pirated pieces of content on their networks, services like Abusix’s AbuseHQ make it easy for large companies to flag and report users who are violating their terms of service time and time again with impunity. Abusix is already helping several ISPs and Hosting Providers to fight copyright infringement issues. Be on the lookout for some more copyright abuse mitigation content on our blog.