The RIAA and MPAA want to reduce online piracy.
On the individual user front, a voluntary “Graduated Response” program that the RIAA and MPAA negotiated with the nation’s largest internet service providers (ISPs) began in July with the stated goal of reducing online piracy. Under this system, ISPs will monitor their customers’ internet activity and send increasingly dire warnings to illegal downloaders, culminating with reduction in internet speeds and potentially complete revocation of internet access. These warnings, known as “The Six Strikes,” are intended to frighten illegal downloaders into pursuing legal means of acquiring copyrighted material.
It remains to be seen how effective the “Graduated Response” program will be, but the entertainment lobbies are certainly having some success in getting remedies in court against websites that allegedly host illegal content. Because the vast majority of people who run these sites are foreigners, they typically do not show up to court and have no chance to defend themselves. This almost always leads to the plaintiffs getting exactly what they seek. The United States Executive Branch has also been aggressively pursuing copyright claims in a manner extremely similar to that envisioned in the SOPA legislation. One example of this is the Department of Justice prosecution of Megaupload.