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Published: Friday, 7/8/2011

Internet providers try to halt illegal downloads


LOS ANGELES — Consumers who illegally download copyrighted films, music, or television shows might see their Internet speed slowed or access restricted under an industry anti-piracy effort announced Thursday.

U.S. Internet service providers, including Verizon Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp., and AT&T Inc. agreed to alert customers, up to six times, when it appears their account is used for illegal downloading. Warnings will come as emails or pop-up messages.

If suspected illegal activity persists, the provider might temporarily slow Internet speed or redirect the browser to a specific Web page until the customer contacts the company. The user can seek an independent review of whether they acted legally. Internet access will not be terminated.

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