Those of you who elect to get your music and movies the old fashioned way, ie, illegally download it may have to find other means in the very near future.

ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and others have come to terms with the RIAA and MPAA to warn or notify users who have been identified as infringing on copyrighted material.  The initially rumored “three strikes” deal didn’t work out.  Instead, ISPs will notify their customers of the infringement via other means as yet to be identified.  After five such warnings, the ISP will turn to “mitigating measures”, whatever that means.

The ISPs ideas of “mitigating measures” could range from reduced Internet speeds, to splash pages, to complete termination of services.  The agreement does not specify that measure precisely but does state the ISPs will use whatever measures they deem necessary to resolve the matter.

Since the agreement does not require account suspensions or terminations, there are next to no legal recourse to customers to fight it in court.  Since no new laws were created or formal legal procedures, it will make it next to impossible to take legal action against the ISP.  Instead you can pay a fee of $35 to have your case “independently reviewed”.

So for now it looks like the money hungry corporations have won.  This is probably better than they could have hoped for.  Now they can do whatever they want to you as long as it doesn’t involve the legal system and you are powerless to do anything about it.  I do not condone illegal file sharing, but I hardly think this is the answer.  Eventually someone will find a way around it.

Keep in mind that the Internet is still free.  You only have to pay for the portal to get to it.  As long as that system is in place, we are at the mercy of the money hungry corporations.  Remember when you could just turn on the TV or radio and get the signal for free?  Thanks to the government and the money crazed corporate machine, those days are over.

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