The “Copyright Alert System,” much publicized by the name “six strikes,” has finally gone into effect yesterday in the U.S. The campaign kicked off with the cooperation of five major ISPs, and hopes to curb online piracy.
The CAS will go after the consumers, instead of the pirates, to put a hold on content piracy. Under the system, content publishers will notify ISPs if they found any user engaging in sharing or downloading copyrighted content. The ISPs will then issue warnings to the users involved in the act about the consequences of illegal downloading or file sharing. If a user ignores the warnings repeatedly for six times, then the ISP can suspend his/her service. The user can then appeal to the company if he/she was wrongly accused.
The move doesn’t protect users from being sued by content publishers over illegal file sharing. However, files shared through cyberlockers, e-mail attachments, and Dropbox folders are not included in CAS.
Executive director for the Center for Copyright Information Jill Lesser wrote in a blog post announcing the implementation of the system:
We hope this cooperative, multi-stakeholder approach will serve as a model for addressing important issues facing all who participate in the digital entertainment ecosystem. From content creators and owners to distributors to consumers, we all benefit from a better understanding of the choices available and the rights and responsibilities that come with using digital content, thereby helping to drive investment in content creation and innovative services that offer exciting ways to enjoy music, video and all digital content.
Over the course of the next several days our participating ISPs will begin rolling out the system. 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. And for those consumers who believe they received Alerts in error, an easy to use process will be in place for them to seek independent review of the Alerts they received.