ISPs to Start Throttling Pirates, More by July 12

The largest Internet service providers in the nation are gearing up to be copyright cops after all -- within months, at that.

Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said on Wednesday that ISPs are getting ready to seriously crack down on piracy by July 12. These ISPs include Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other bandwidth providers. What they will be looking out for is music, movies and software illegally downloaded by subscribers.

The ISPs originally agreed to adopt policing policies back in July 2011, but nothing else has been said about the anti-piracy movement until Sherman's announcement on Wednesday during a panel discussion at the Association of American Publishers' annual meeting. That's because the ISPs needed a year to get everything up and running, and so far most of the participants are on track for the July 12 launch, he said.

"Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system," Sherman said. "[They need this] for establishing the database so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion."

The anti-piracy program is called "graduate response," and requires that ISPs send out one or two educational notices to customers accused of downloading copyrighted content illegally. If the downloading still continues after the warnings, a confirmation notice is sent out to the suspected pirate, asking that they confirm receipt of the notice. They're also "educated" on the risks of further piracy.

If that still doesn't work, ISPs can then crank up the heat and go into "mitigation measures" mode. Here ISPs can choose to throttle down the connection speed among other penalties. The ISPs can waive the mitigation measure if they choose, CNET reports. So far there's no indication that customers will be kicked off the Internet entirely, but there's a good chance official announcements will be made in the next few months, providing plenty of details.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.