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Three strikes, throttling coming to US surfers

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ISPs and media industries have agreed on a range of countermeasures to tackle copyright infringement, according to a CNET report.

The deal has been brokered by the National Cable and Telecommunications Industry trade group, the report suggests. Infringers would receive a series of notices, and if they persist, a range of "graduated response" penalties could be applied, culminating in throttling or web-blocking for serial offenders. Costs will be shared between ISPs and copyright owners.

No participating ISPs were named.

"The proposal appears to have the potential to become one of the most potent antipiracy strategies ever implemented," suggests CNET's Greg Sandoval.

Well, we'll see.

And despite talk from the White House that it would come to the copyright industries' aid, the only escalation has been the seizure of thousands of domain names by the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Irish ISP Eircom bungled its "first strike" by sending out 300 warning letters by mistake – strangely blaming "a software failure caused when the clocks went back last October".

(No, we can't work that one out either).

Similar legislation enacted last year in the UK has been the subject of a legal challenge and the process has stalled. In the litigious US it is hard to see any measures being imposed without a legal challenge, either.

The biggest change in the landscape is the success of Netflix and the imminent arrival of Ultraviolet, a customer-friendly legal initiative. Both give ISPs an incentive to make money from content flowing over the networks – something they cannot do when that material is unlicensed P2P material. ®

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