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Copyright Alert System: ISPs Now Control User Access to Content on the Internet
Susanne Posel/Occupy Corporatism
This week, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will launch the 6 strikes Copyright Alert System (CAS) that has major participants such as AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon.
Intnernet Service Providers (ISPs) will collaborate to monitor the internet for users who download copyrighted material from websites such as BitTorrent.
Once a user is identified, the ISP will send a warning. There is a 3 tier system of warnings with two per tier. After 6 warnings the user is blocked.
Categorizing the first two warnings as “educational alters”, the user will be informed that their online activity was logged.
Next come the “acknowledgement alerts” that will take over the user’s browser. A message will be displayed that outlines the user was “caught” wherein the user must acknowledge that they have received this warning.
Finally, the last 2 warning are called “mitigation measures” because the ISP will withhold bandwidth from the user and/or block access to certain websites. The ISP cannot disable the internet completely; however the user’s ability to freely choose to go to any website will be severely impaired.
The CCI portrays itself as benign and assisting small internet businesses in keeping their right to monetarily benefit from copyrighted material.
CCI said: “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. 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.”
Jill Lesser, executive director for the CCI explained: “Implementation marks the culmination of many months of work on this groundbreaking and collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows. The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy.”
Lesser goes on to say that she hopes “this cooperative, multi-stakeholder approach will serve as a model for addressing important issues facing all who participate in the digital entertainment ecosystem.”