San Francisco, Calif. — Customers who refuse to stop using the networks operated by  internet service providers  (ISPs) to engage in piracy may soon face tougher punishments starting as soon as next month, CNET reported, citing multiple sources.

A group of top ISPs, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, are discussing an agreement with media and entertainment companies represented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Modern Picture Association of America (MPAA) that would put in place new and tougher punishments for customers who use their networks to pirate movies, music and other intellectual property.

After years of trying to persuade ISPs to take a tougher stance on piracy, the RIAA and MPAA are close to an agreement where participating service providers would adopt a “graduated response” to users who continue to infringe copyrights. If a person is identified as sharing media illegally, bandwidth providers would first issue a written warning, called a Copyright Alert. If a  subscriber does not stop the infringing activity, service providers can either continue sending notices or take harsher actions — including slowing down a customer’s bandwidth speed, limiting them to only 100 top websites to even terminating their service, which isn’t required under the proposed plan.

The piracy plan could be one of the most “potent antipiracy strategies ever implemented,” CNET reported.

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