A new Comcast initiative will attempt to stop music, movie, and television pirates with a mixture of annoyance and capitalism. Variety‘s Andrew Wallenstein reports that the cable-and-broadband giant is developing a service that will use pop-up ads to harass content pirates downloading from peer-to-peer services. The pop-up ads will notify users that piracy is illegal, and provide them with links to purchase or rent the content they seek legally from Amazon or other vendors.
Instead of the current system where owners of IP addresses are notified by mail that they’re at legal risk, the pop-up ads would hit users almost as soon as their content starts downloading. As currently conceived, Comcast wouldn’t take a cut of affiliate sales through the pop-ups. Instead, Wallenstein says, Comcast views the short-term benefit of reducing network congestion as a reason to leave well enough alone.
No release date for the initiative has been announced; Variety reports Comcast is trying to sign up content producers, large media companies, online video-on-demand services, and other third parties to participate in the effort.