AT&T plans to disconnect some broadband users accused of copyright infringement, the company confirmed Tuesday.
The company's move comes several months after its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, which gave it the right to distribute some of the most sought-after video programming, including “Game of Thrones,” “The Sopranos” and other programs in HBO's library.
Officially, the telecom has long prohibited subscribers from using the network for copyright infringement. But it's unclear whether AT&T disconnected subscribers accused of piracy in the past, according to Axios, which first reported on AT&T's plans.
An AT&T spokesperson says the company only acts after receiving complaints by copyright owners.
“Based on the notices we received, we identified the customer on the account and share with them the information we received. We also reached out to the customer to educate them about copyright infringement and offer assistance to help prevent the activity from continuing,” the spokesperson stated. “A small number of customers who continue to receive additional copyright infringement notifications from content owners despite our efforts to educate them, will have their service discontinued.”
In 2012, AT&T was part of a consortium of broadband providers to roll out a “six strikes” program.
That initiative, which ended last year, involved sending a series of warnings to users who allegedly shared copyrighted files via peer-to-peer networks. While the program called for a series of escalating penalties, they culminated in throttling, not termination.