Friday, October 19, 2012

Copyright Alert System Coming Within Weeks

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Glenn Peoples/Billboard

American Internet users can expect to start seeing notifications from their Internet service providers if they trade files on peer-to-peer networks.

A blog post by Jill Lesser, executive director of the Center for Copyright Information, revealed the long-awaited Copyright Alert System (CAS) will begin "in the coming weeks" and provided some details about the partnership with ISPs to deter subscribers from infringement over peer-to-peer networks.

In the coming weeks, participating ISPs will launch its version of the CAS. Each system allows content owners to send infringement notices to subscribers via the ISP. When infringing activity continues, CAS will send "enhanced alerts" that vary by ISP but range from a requirement that a subscriber review educational material to temporary throttling of the subscriber's Internet speed.

The CCI member companies include the RIAA, the MPAA and five major Internet service providers: Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable.

Consumers and critics may find some comfort in the steps the CCI has taken to ensure fairness. For starters, unlike anti-piracy efforts in other countries, CAS is not a "strikeout" program that will result in termination of an account. In addition, CCI has retained Stroz Friedberg to ensure MarkMonitor's system for identifying alleged infringement is accurate and works properly.

The CAS is the result of a 2011 memorandum of understanding between a group of U.S. Internet service providers, the MPAA and the RIAA that outlined the system for alerting subscribers of their infringing behavior and educating them on alternatives. Lesser was hired as executive director in April. She was previously Deputy Director of Public Policy and Director of the Civic Media Project at the advocacy group People for the American Way.

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