updated 04:00 pm EST, Fri November 13, 2009
Verizon will warn users, won't cut off
The RIAA confirmed late Thursday that Verizon has agreed to test notices of alleged copyright infringement to its subscribers. Each notice, which is relayed to Verizon first, will alert downloaders that they're believed to have pirated material and that the act is illegal. The warnings should already be enroute to customers, but it's unknown when the trial would stop.
None of the notices threatens to disconnect or otherwise directly punish users, nor does it reference a warning system where subsequent actions would follow. Verizon has regularly opposed anti-piracy law as a violation of privacy and safe harbor principles and, in past cases, has refused to turn over identity information to the RIAA.
The tactics are an attempt to move away from independently discovering and suing customers. While it landed key settlements and court victories, it was also expensive and generated ill will.
Other carriers are said by CNET sources to be forwarding similar letters but haven't been mentioned by name. It's also unknown if they will have any stricter conditions than at Verizon.