AT & T will cancel the internet service of over a dozen subscribers due to repeated piracy and copyright infringement, according to a new report from Axios.

(Photo: Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com)

The news site says that the affected customers will be told by next week. AT & T told Axios that the company was asked to act after "content owners" told them that users illegally shared copyrighted material using their internet service.

"Content owners notified us when they thought they had evidence that an Internet account was illegal to share copyrighted material," said Jim Greer, an AT & T spokesman, in a statement to the United States today.

"Based on the notifications we received, we identified the customer in the account and shared with them the information we received. We have also reached the customer to educate them about breach of copyright and offer help to prevent the activity from continuing. A small number of customers who continue to receive additional information about copyright infringement from content owners despite our efforts to educate them will terminate their service. "

According to AT & Ts policy, the affected users were notified of at least nine separate times with the allegations that they could potentially infringe others' copyright.

It is unclear what content (like movies, TV shows, music, books etc .) was streamed, shared or downloaded, or if it was content that AT & T now owns as part of its $ 85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. AT & T has had piracy policy in place for many years and the company did not change them as A result of the merger.

This appears to be one of the first times that AT & T has directly enforced its piracy policy. Like other internet vendors, AT & T was previously part of a Copyright Alert System, an international industry group such as worked with the film and recording industry to educate users to try to cut copyright infringement.

The group would send up to six warnings to users who violated copyright, with Inter network service that was slowed down on the fifth and sixth alarms if the bad behavior continued.

After not doing much to prevent piracy online, it was closed in 201

7.

It is likely that AT & T will experience a lot of piracy in the near future by acquiring Time Warner. . "Game of Thrones", the mega-hit HBO show, has been the most pirated television show on the BitTorrent file sharing service each of the last six years, according to the TorrentFreak website. HBO will release the show's eighth and last season next year.

HBO was part of Time Warner and is now in the AT & Ts WarnerMedia division.

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal

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