As pointed out in this article from the London Times, the four major US record companies have struck a deal with Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom, to report to the record companies when the ISP catches users illegally sharing copyrighted music files, and to disable the users’ accounts after the 3rd warning.
Query to those in the blogosphere: Has anyone done a comprehensive catalog of the implementation of this media owner / ISP cooperation scheme worldwide (i.e. countries where legislation has been proposed or adopted, countries where media owners have attempted to enter contractual agreements with ISPs, countries where agreements are actually in place)?
Query No. 2: If the ISPs start filtering for copyrighted material, could they lose their “safe harbor” under the DMCA for other copyright material that they choose not to police?
Edit: Another (legitimate) rant here about Comcast policing for infringement, with the following insightful comment:
Given many carriers can’t even get bills and customer support right yet — there’s no reason to think this new system will be any different — particularly without any independent oversight or a publicly reviewable grievance process for false positives.
As someone who was charged for cable service for over a year after I moved apartments (without the cable company noticing), I understand the blogger’s concern. Internet acces is so crucial to American society that termination of access, a serious penalty (perhaps even more than a fine from a governmental agency), cannot be permitted through arbitrary action.
Update No. 2: Public Knowledge has a great summary of “Three Strikes” stories here.