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US Gets New Copyright Alert System: ‘Six Strikes’ And Your Internet May Be Affected — Shocklee Entertainment Universe ● The Future Frequency

US Gets New Copyright Alert System: ‘Six Strikes’ And Your Internet May Be Affected

Starting today, a new copyright alert system is being implemented in the US to prevent piracy. It seems this system has been designed to catch the most casual of pirates, as Computerworld, TorrentFreak and a host of others point out, the system is easy to circumvent and is focuses on monitoring torrent users who don’t take privacy precautions while downloading illegally acquired copyrighted material.

One of the issues of concern here is that perfectly legal file-sharing, that which isn’t necessarily piracy or illegal is also commonplace via torrents and it is quite possible that this big ‘catch-all’ system which will automatically be monitoring millions of web users could be prone to mistaking innocent cases of file sharing for infringing ones. This Copyright Alert System is also of concern to the open wi-fi movement which has been growing and making strides in creating more widespread open wi-fi access to people, because as you know, more wifi means more innovation. Whether these issues arise of if the monitoring starts creeping into areas it wasn’t intended for, remains to be seen.

The system has started to roll out somewhat mysteriously with the five major internet service providers; Comcast, AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon all planning their own slightly different implementation strategies, Comcast being the first.

The Center For Copyright Information has released an informational video seen below, announcing this new system. Since there is a lot of reporting today around web concerning CAS and its long-term intention and potential, we’ve summarized some of the key facts:

The so-called “Copyright Alert System” is backed by the President Barack Obama administration and was pushed heavily by record labels and Hollywood studios. [Wired]

Different ISPs are expected to launch their slightly different versions of the six strikes plan throughout the week, with anonymous sources saying that Comcast will be the first — launching today. As we’ve noted extensively, different ISPs versions will vary slightly; for example Verizon will be throttling repeat offenders back to 256 kbps, while Time Warner Cable told us they’ll briefly block Internet access until you read likely one-sided “education” material from the entertainment industry. [DSLReports.com]

A small recap for those unaware, the Copyright Alert System is a joint operation between ISPs and major content holders around the country. In essence, these content holders will be scanning Internet connections looking for people downloading pirated content via BitTorrent. If you’re caught, the content holders will send your a notice through your ISP. There are three tiers of warning with two warnings per tier, hence the six strikes. [WebProNews]

The warnings are tiered into three categories: education, acknowledgement, and mitigation.

In the educational phase, users will be informed that they have been busted. This will be something of a shock, I would think. It’s no lawsuit but to be told that you have been caught pirating someone else’s content won’t be a welcome note. The infringing party will be given links and information on how to snag their content legally in the future. If this will drive iTunes sales or Spotify downloads remains to be seen.

The second level of warning, the acknowledgement phase, will force users to complete an action, watch a video, or something else to get past the system. The goal here, it appears, is to disrupt the user in a small way to make an impact.

Finally, the last phase, for strikes five and six, appears to differ by ISP, but via The Verge, here is what Verizon customers will be served with:

Fifth and Sixth Alerts: Redirect your browser to a special web page where you will be given several options.

You can:

Agree to an immediate temporary [2 or 3 day] reduction in the speed of your Internet access service to 256kbps (a little faster than typical dial-up speed);

Agree to the same temporary [2 or 3 day] speed reduction but delay it for a period of 14 days; or

Ask for a review of the validity of your alerts by the American Arbitration Association. There is a $35 review fee [that you will get back if you win. For subscribers who meet certain need-based eligibility criteria. the review fee will be waived by the AAA.

Key: Your ISP will not be able to cut off your Internet connection as part of the CAS. So, the worst you can be is marked as a serial offender and slowed down. [TNW]

The Copyright Propaganda Machine Gets a New Agent: Your ISP – It’s been a long time coming, but the copyright surveillance machine known as the Copyright Alert System [CAS] is finally launching. CAS is an agreement between Big Content and large Internet Service Providers to monitor peer to peer networks for copyright infringement and target subscribers who are alleged to infringe—via everything from from “educational” alerts to throttling Internet speeds.

…Just because content is copyrighted doesn’t mean sharing it is illegal. It would be better to have a rigorous process that ensures the use identified is actually infringing. It would be even better to have a process that was vetted by a truly independent entity, and public review of the full results.

…if you’ve received a notice, you’ve better lock down your network, and fast. As we’ve explained, this seems designed to undermine the open Wi-Fi movement, even though open wireless is widely recognized to be tremendously beneficial to the public. [EFF]

And finally, On The Media’s Brooke Gladstone discusses with Jill Lesser, the Executive Director of the Center for Copyright Information how this new system will work. [On The Media]

Will this drive the legal purchasing of downloads and streaming? Will educating casual downloaders bring down the rate of illegal downloading? Will legal file-sharers get caught up inaccurate monitoring? Will the ISP’s violate consumer privacy? We’ll have to stay tuned, in the meanwhile here’s the official Center For Copyright Information video.

photo: marsmet481

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