Daily Debrief: Will your ISP be 'asking' you to clean up your act?
[ Music ]
>> The recording industry has decided upon a new way to combat illegal file sharing over the Internet. It's gonna outsource the job to Internet service providers. Welcome to the CNET News Daily Debrief, I'm Charles Cooper and on the box from New York is CNET News' Maggie Reardon. Maggie, the whys and the where force will get into in a moment, but is the gist of this decision today that the ISPs will now become the enforcers for the music industry?
>> It appears that way, but I think what's still a little bit, sort of confusing to me is that I think previously, you know the ISPs had it in some ways been working with the music industry anyway on doing some of this. I think what is really different is that instead of getting a court order to get an ISP to step in, the ISPs are not doing it more voluntarily. I think what we're not seeing here and or what's not quite clear yet is whether the ISPs are gonna get involved in filtering traffic and identifying whether or not pirated music is travelling over their network and if that happens that's really huge change and that's when you see ISPs becoming network police.
>> What's in it for them?
>> What's in it for the ISPs? Well, I think you know maybe some good will. You've got the phone companies AT&T and Verizon who are now working with these content providers, they need to strike deals with them. AT&T in particular has been trying to cozy up to a lot of this content in entertainment companies because they wanna strike deals with these guys to get their content on the AT&T U-verse TV service.
>> So, do we know how this would work with the RIAA, submit a list of violators to AT&T and AT&T in turn would contact the addresses, warn them off.
>> That's -- well that's the way it sounds right now is that you know the RIAA has been -- you know they have their methods for identifying when they feel that illegal file sharing is going on and I guess previously they have been going out and trying to prosecute these offenders and now what they're gonna be doing is working with the ISP's hand in hand, so that the ISP's will then contact these offenders and maybe at some point if the folks are not responding appropriately cut off their service. That's something that's a little -- that's different than what's been done before because before the ISPs had sort of resisted stepping in and it took a court order for them to identify who these offenders were and then they had to go to court, that get's costly and expensive and I think the RIAA was trying to get out of that game.
>> That's a good point. This could trigger a fire storm because we're talking about what critics would say would be flimsy evidence. It's just the recording industry's word, their say so and you may have instances where someone whose totally innocent get's accused of being an illegal file swapper.
>> Exactly and I think that's why the ISPs have been reluctant to do this in the past because you know these are their customers and they don't want to annoy their customers to the point where these broadband customers will go to somebody else. There's a lot of competition in the market. So you know I -- it's still not clear which ISPs are really onboard with this. You know nobody's really talking on the record at this point, but one very large one I spoke to said, you know we haven't been involved in any of this negotiation. I don't know where this came from. So, this stuff is still -- still coming out and we'll see how far it goes.
>> And you'll be following that story, so folks check back for Maggie's updates. Thanks Maggie.
>> Hey, thanks.
>> And this will be our final debrief for 2008. We're going on hiatus for the holidays. So on behalf of the team here let me say now, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, whatever you celebrate and happy New Year. On behalf of CNET News this is Charles Cooper.
[ Music ]