AT&T threatens copyright violators with Internet service termination

AT&T (NYSE: T) is getting tough on copyright violators, telling them that they may terminate their Internet access subscription. The telco spelled out its rules in a letter that it sent to customers suspected of copyright infringement, which was obtained and published by TorrentFreak.

"Using your Internet service to infringe copyrights is illegal and a violation of the AT&T Internet Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy, which apply to all users of your account, and could result in mitigation measures including limitation of Internet access or even suspension or termination," AT&T wrote in its letter.

Under the terms of the Copyright Alert Program, subscribers are told what they have done wrong and advise them on how they can access content legally.

Repeat offenders could face mitigation measures, including limiting or inhibiting Internet access.

Although copyright holders and ISPs said that no user would lose Internet access, AT&T is using its using its Copyright Alert emails to tell potential pirates that service termination is one action they could take.

It could also highlight chronic offenders, a move that would follow the six-strikes scheme that requires the telco to keep a database of subscribers not complying with copyright rules. Internet providers are also required to save this information so they can make it available to the MPAA, RIAA or other copyright holders.

AT&T's action follows that of Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), which said in February it would place pop-up notifications in users' browsers if they violated its copyright infringement warnings.

The service provider could not be reached for comment at deadline.

For more:
- TorrentFreak has this post
- Venture Beat has this article

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