The war against internet piracy could force ISPs to spy on their customers

A foreign court decision and a bit of legislation floating around Washington could soon reshape the music and video entertainment industry. Time will tell how this will affect your pocketbooks.

The issue in both instances is the digital rights to music, movies, and television shows. For years, the industry has fought an ongoing battle against file sharers, those people who swap tunes and movies without paying a fee to the copyright holders. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which claims that file sharing costs the music world $12.5 billion yearly, has become well known for demanding damages from thousands of people, mostly young, whom it believes have illegally downloaded music.