In a bid to end piracy on the Internet, AT&T is cracking down on downloaders who steal copyright material. That means if you’ve downloaded a torrent or grabbed music illegally off the Internet, AT&T will block your access to the site.
Other internet service providers are joining AT&T in this endeavor to end bootlegging online.
AT&T said “to assist content owners with combating online piracy, AT&T will be sending alert e-mails to customers who are identified as having been downloading copyrighted content without authorization from the copyright owners.”
Authors, artists, video game publishers, musicians, and more have battled for years to increase enforcement on piracy.
Bootleggers and torrent sites are saying that the new policy is a bit strict. They claim that the idea of punishing someone for “stealing” material that doesn’t physically exist is crazy.
However, AT&T makes a big point. Copyrighted materials like books and music are written and produced by artists who deserve to be paid for their work. Piracy does nothing to support these authors, which means that bootlegging is still stealing, no matter how you look at it.
AT&T will flag users as well as block their access to websites that offer copyrighted material. The user will be flagged six times before a block will be inflicted.
After being blocked, users are given the option to take an online course on copyrighted material before regaining access. Similar to driving misdemeanors, users will have to learn about the wrongs of online piracy.
Verizon and Comcast are also joining AT&T on the antipiracy bandwagon.