ISPs Will Begin Enforcing "Six Strikes" Piracy Crackdown
Five major American ISP's including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable have agreed to aid copyright holders by sending a series of notifications to customers — alerting them of their questionable behavior while online. The ISP's themselves will not monitor the activity, and will continue to protect the customer's privacy.
It works like this. Copyright holders will monitor activity across the web and will notify the ISP's of suspicious activity. It is up to that specific ISP to take actions towards the customer. However, instead of taking legal action they will attempt to educate the user.
Strikes one through three are not severe, but are the first attempts to make you aware. If you continue to participate in content theft (third strike) you will be asked to confirm that you saw a message saying that you've been misbehaving on the inter-webs.
Keep in mind that ISP's do not want to turn off your internet connection; so instead of having your house raided by the FBI they've begun a new approach that they deem "educational". This involves tactics like slowing down your internet speed, displaying alerts, redirecting traffic, and even asking you to call them to discuss your naughty behavior.
It should be noted that ISP's are not being asked to affect emergency services, or any health monitoring systems that may require use of the internet.
They hope that by the sixth strike you will have been distracted, pestered, and "educated" enough to know what is right from wrong. There's a side of me that knows how easy it is to obtain content through illegal avenues, but with subscription services like Rdio, Netflix, Mog, and Hulu you can obtain plenty of music, and video completely legal. It wasn't long ago that services like these were thought to be written in a fairy-tale, but content is more widely, and legally obtainable than it ever has been in the past.