According to Cnet's Greg Sandoval, internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon are working with media groups such as the RIAA and MPAA to adopt stricter anti-piracy policies which gradually increase the consequences for illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted material.

Under the proposed plan, participating bandwidth providers would adopt a "graduated response" to subscribers who repeatedly infringe copyrights. ISPs would first issue written warnings, called Copyright Alerts, to customers accused by content creators of downloading materials illegally via peer-to-peer sites, the sources said. Should a subscriber fail to heed the warning, an ISP could choose to send numerous follow-up notices. The plan, however, requires ISPs to eventually take more serious action.

Punishments could include throttling down data speeds, restricting access to websites, or forcing violators to take a class in copyright law.

Don't mistake this, however, for the ISPs monitoring all your activity. The process is still similar to what has happened in the past. Copyright holders and content creators complain, and the ISP acts. Which means that if you encrypted or private torrents, or download/upload something from an upload site, you likely wouldn't be flagged.

But coupled with the White House's recent interest in the matter, the war on digital piracy is far from over. [Cnet]