Internet services providers have started to implement the Copyright Alert System this month. The system, also referred to as the “Six Strikes” program, is intended to deter copyright infringement committed through illegal file sharing.
The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) will operate the alert system. Members of the coalition include the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., the Recording Industry Association of America, and major ISPs, including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.
The system will allow content owners to notify the ISPs when they believe their copyrights are being infringed. The ISP will then notify the subscriber that their account may have been misused for potentially illegal file sharing. If the activity continues, the warnings issued to the subscriber will escalate and can ultimately result in “mitigation measures,” which include slowing the subscriber’s Internet connection.
The warning system includes:
- First Alert: An ISP will send an online alert to a subscriber, such as an email, notifying the subscriber that his/her account may have been misused or involved in copyright infringement. This first alert will also direct the subscriber to educational resources, such as how to verify the security of the computer and the importance of copyright infringement laws.
- Second Alert: If the alleged activity persists, the subscriber will get a second similar alert that will underscore the educational messages.
- Third Alert: The third alert will repeat the warning, but also provide a conspicuous mechanism (a click-through pop-up notice, landing page, or similar mechanism) requiring the subscriber to acknowledge receipt.
- Fourth Alert: If the subscriber’s account again appears to have been used for copyright infringement, the subscriber will receive yet another alert that again requires the subscriber to acknowledge receipt.
- Fifth Alert: At this time, the ISP may take one of several steps reasonably calculated to stop future copyright infringement. These “Mitigation Measures” may include temporary reductions of Internet speeds or redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter.
- Sixth Alert: If the subscriber’s account again appears to have been used for copyright infringement, the ISP will send another alert and will implement a Mitigation Measure as described above.
It is important to highlight that the Copyright Alert System does not require the ISPs to terminate service. Subscribers will also be able to challenge any mitigation measures through proceedings conducted by the American Arbitration Association.
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