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Verizon’s new anti-piracy policy will throttle repeat offenders’ connections down to dial-up speeds

Published Jan 11th, 2013 4:44PM EST
Verizon Six Strikes

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Unless you have acute nostalgia for AOL dial-up service circa 1998, then you probably shouldn’t get busted pirating copyrighted material on Verizon’s (VZ) network. TorrentFreak has got hold of Verizon’s official “six strikes” anti-piracy policy that’s slated to roll out this year and has found that repeat offenders on Verizon’s network will see their connection speeds throttled down to just 256Kbps.

For users’ first two alleged copyright violations, Verizon will send out an email and a voice message informing them that “one or more copyright owners have reported that they believe your account has been involved in possible copyright infringement activity.” For users’ third and fourth alleged offenses, Verizon will “redirect your browser to a special web page where you can review and acknowledge receiving the [previous] alerts” and will also “provide a short video about copyright law and the consequences of copyright infringement.”

Finally, after the fifth and sixth alleged violations, Verizon gives the users the option of having their speed cut down to 256Kbps for a limited time. If they continue to rack up violations after that, reports TorrentFreak, then the MPAA and RIAA can obtain a court order forcing Verizon to hand over “the IP-addresses of such repeat infringers in order to take legal action against them.”

TorrentFreak also reports that the new policy will “also apply to business customers,” meaning that “coffee shops and other small businesses will have to be very careful over who they allow on their company networks” if they don’t want their speeds throttled. The six strikes policy could pose similar problems for apartment buildings that relied upon shared connections, where the actions of one person could lead to an entire group being punished.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.