Note: Curious about how changes in the Internet will affect you? Talk to one of our Dedicated Experts and find out!
ISPs and the Center for Copyright Information are collaborating in an attempt to curtail copyright infringement.
The nation’s major internet service providers will adopt a six-strikes plan known as the “Copyright Alert System” by year’s end, according to Wired. This initiative is supported by the Obama administration, Hollywood, and the major record labels, and its intent is to disrupt and even cancel Internet access for online copyright infringement offenders. After four “strikes,” or individual offenses, Internet providers will begin to employ “mitigation measures” that might include reducing connection speeds or redirecting a subscriber’s service to an “educational” landing page about infringement. As it now stands, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon have all agreed to participate.
The group behind the program is the Center for Copyright Information. Because of the massive online backlash against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, this approach is seen by some as a compromise to mollify copyright holders without diminishing the general populace’s Internet access and privacy. The agreement does not explicitly require ISPs to filter copyrighted material transiting their networks since that decision is left to the individual ISPs.
Under this plan, when an Internet user allegedly infringes on copyright through peer-to-peer channels they will receive an e-mail warning from their ISP that the account may have been misused for online content infringement. This is the first “strike.” After that, strikes will be counted every seven days, so a user won’t suddenly be shut off in case their connection has been abused by a third party. After four warnings, ISPs may reduce connection speed, redirect traffic to a page that tells the user to discuss the issue with an ISP representative, or follow some other appropriate course of action to resolve the problem. Jill Lesser, executive director of the center, said that, “The goal was to come up with a program that was educational in nature, not with the intention of being punitive.” At six strikes, the subscriber may be cut off from access.
This makes it look like the entertainment industry is finally willing to “play ball” and make compromises since their SOPA and PIPA bills were struck down. Or, this means that they’re tired of trying to put their business plan through the democratic process, so they’re just making deals with the ISPs. And subscribers to those ISPs may not have to wait long to find out which is true.