Despite Six Strikes, US ISPs Disconnecting Repeat Offenders

A report published by TorrentFreak reveals that Rightscorp, a piracy monitoring firm that works with Warner Bros. and other content creators, claims that 140 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) residing in the United States have agreed to disconnect persistent file sharers.  

Wait! Aren't ISPs already participating in the Copyright Alert System? Don't file sharers get at least six strikes (warnings) before ISPs even think about disconnection? Throttling after repeated warning letters is usually the punishment, although the outcome depends on the ISP.

According to the report, Rightscorp continuously monitors BitTorrent networks to see who is sharing what. The company then approaches these file sharers by contacting their ISP, who in turn will forward Rightscorp's settlement demands, requesting $20 per shared file. The company believes this is a far more superior plan than the six strikes plan, and is now taking it a bit further -- disconnection.

That's right. Rightscorp wants repeat offenders disconnected from the Internet, and 140 ISPs located in the United States are supposedly now on board.

"We push ISPs to suspend accounts of repeat copyright infringers and we currently have over 140 ISPs that are participating in our program, including suspending the accounts of repeat infringers," says Christopher Sabec, CEO of Rightscorp.

Ultimately, this disconnection model is all about creating a new stream of revenue. Rightscorp believes that with disconnection now introduced, settlements will happen more frequently. Even more, those who are disconnected can be reconnected IF the outstanding bill/fine has been paid.

"All US ISPs have a free Rightscorp website dashboard that identifies these repeat infringers and notifies the ISPs when they have settled their cases with our clients. We encourage the ISPs to restore service once the matter has been settled and there is no longer an outstanding legal liability," Sabec says.

For now, most of the larger ISPs are ignoring Rightscorp's settlement notices. Comcast will forward the notice but without the settlement offer, as does AT&T, Verizon and several others. According to TorrentFreak, Charter is the only ISP that forwards the notice in its entirety.

So who is listed in Rightscorp's list of 140? Mostly the smaller, local providers, the report reveals.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

This thread is closed for comments
41 comments
    Your comment
  • Bondfc11
    Good. People think that getting something for nothing is awesome, but don't realize these "thefts" only drive up prices (or keep prices high) for the rest of us who buy our products. Charge them, disconnect them, and hound them. If you don't like the laws in this country related to copyright/intellectual property - well you know what to do.
  • sunflier
    Quote:
    The company believes this is a far more superior plan than the six strikes plan, and is now taking it a bit further -- disconnection.


    /probably not intended...but nice pun.
  • SchizoFrog
    Bondfc11: It's a nice argument but it just isn't true. These companies will always keeps prices where they want them regardless of downloading piracy. The other point is that as it is all digital there is no physical loss, nor is there actual financial loss in the majority of cases (majority, not all all cases). If a person can't afford to buy a CD or DVD for example and then download it instead, they have the audio and/or the movie but the companies has not 'lost' anything other than what they would see as a potential sale. They haven't actually lost a sale as many of these people can't afford the music of DVDs as it is. So the only difference is that the end user has something that they would not have otherwise had which makes no difference to the owning companies. The only losses they actually suffer are those by people who could, should and would otherwise actually go out and buy the products.