While the SOPA bill has been shelved, supporters are turning to internet providers to take measures against piracy instead. CNN reports that various North American ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, are set to introduce their own anti-piracy policies sooner rather than later.
ISPs are planning to implement a Copyright Alert System, what they believe to be a “gradual elevation” approach to piracy. If a user is caught downloading pirated material five or six times, the ISPs system would alert them to this, and potentially throttle internet speeds, or cut off the user’s access altogether until they contact the service provider.
While the plan was first unveiled back in July 2011, some ISPs may be very close to activating their implementation of the plan. Speaking at a publishers conference this week in New York, Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said:
Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system. Every ISP has to do it differently, depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion, and others are a little further from completion.
While the backlash over SOPA has died down, at least for now, it’s a reminder that ISPs and anti-piracy lobbys continue to work behind the scenes. Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes that it’s unclear what the range of penalties is if a user continues to download infringing material. Mitch Stoltz, an attorney with the EFF, believes that the plan “puts the ISPs in the position of being a judge” without there being any kind of court.