Starting this week, major U.S. Internet service providers will begin issuing warnings to broadband subscribers who illegally download copyrighted content through file sharing networks. Heavy weights like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon Communications and Cablevision will be part of a new program called as "six strikes" or "Copyright Alert System". It is being backed by the Obama administration and is being heavily pushed by movie studios and record labels.
Jill Lesser, executive director of Center for Copyright Information (CCI), spoke about the new program through a blog post earlier this week. The CCI is formed by ISPs, film studios, producers and others.
"Practically speaking, this means our content partners will begin sending notices of alleged P2P copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of Copyright Alerts to consumers", Lesser said. "Most consumers will never receive Alerts under the program. Consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally (or without authority) will receive Alerts that are meant to educate rather than punish, and direct them to legal alternatives. And for those consumers who believe they received Alerts in error, an easy to use process will be in place for them to seek independent review of the Alerts they received."
As soon as your ISP detects illegal content from a connection, the Copyright Alert System will warn pirates about the activity on their account. Following this, the ISP will educate the pirates on different sources of legitimate online content like Amazon, Spotify and iTunes. Once a pirate has been warned for the fifth time, some ISPs will start cutting down their Internet speed to levels as low as 256Kbs per second for a limited period of time. Others will go ahead and suspend the infringer's account for two weeks or so.
The program will not be focusing on alternate pirating options that use cyberlockers, e-mail attachments and shared online storagefolders.
This new law is still much more relaxed than that of countries like France, where offenders could loose their connection after the third incidence of content piracy.
by RTT Staff Writer
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