More than two years ago, the RIAA announced the end of its litigation campaign against individual P2P users, pointing to a new tactic of working with ISPs instead.
That plan involved the ISPs voluntarily sending "graduated response" notices to subscribers identified as uploading or downloading pirated content, as identified by the RIAA. First would come warnings, then disconnection. The organization said several ISPs were on board with the plan, but none ever publically acknowledged this, and to date there's been virtually no momentum on that front.
Until now. CNET is reporting that several ISPs-including heavyweights like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon-are "closer than ever" to working out a graduated response plan with rights-holders that include both the music and movie industries, among others.
According to the report, the new deal gives ISPs more options on exactly what its graduated response will be. Rather than the "three-strikes" format-under which users are given three warnings before their Internet service is disconnected-ISPs can choose to simply restrict bandwidth for offending users or limit their Web access to a few hundred sites. Complete disconnection is not a requirement, and ISPs can choose how many times to warn subscribers before taking action.
None of the parties involved are yet commenting on the report, which also makes clear that the deal in question is not final and could very easily fall apart before reaching reality. Apparently, this new deal was brokered in no small part by the White House, which has made copyright enforcement a top priority.