Copyright Alert System 2013 Industry implemented policy

Status: Effective February 25, 2013. Umbrella organization: Center for Copyright Information. Members: Recording Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, Independent Film and Television Alliance and the American Association of Independent Music; and five Internet Service Providers, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon.

Update: According to the Phase One and Beyond report, 1.3 million alerts were sent to Internet account holders. Read the entire report.

Copyright infringement on the Internet has been a growing problem since the dawn of the Internet.  With all the copyright legislation passed and discussed in this section, online copyright infringement continues to be a major threat to the music and publishing industry. On February  The Center for Copyright Information announced the implementation of an industry led system to warn, educate and eventually punish Internet users who illegally download copyrighted music, movies and TV shows. The Copyright Alert System (CAS) was created with the help of five major Internet Service Providers (ISPs): AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner and Comcast, according to an article by Dara Kerr in CNET News. (CNET, News) Copyright owners involved in the CAS include the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America, Disney Studios and Paramount Pictures.

According to the Center, the intention of the CAS is to make ISP customers aware that  copyright infringement might have occurred on their account, educating account holders about how to prevent copyright infringement and provide information on ways to legally download digital content.

Six Strikes

Although individual ISPs have their own policies for alerting customers about possible violations, most providers start with a simple warning and if the illegal downloads aren’t removed and the infringement continues the policy gets more serious.

The first two warnings usually just inform the account holder that an incident of copyright infringement has been detected on his/her computer. The first two messages will include information about copyright infringement and ways to avoid illegal downloads. It the activity continues a third and fourth notice will require the account holder to acknowledge receipt of the notices by clicking on a notice. After a fifth alert an ISP measures to prevent future infringement. According to the Center for Copyright Information these measures might include temporarily reducing Internet speed, a temporary downgrade in service, or a redirection to a “landing page” until the account holder contacts the ISP or completes an “online copyright education program.” (CCI)

An ISP account holder can ask for an Independent Review after they receive multiple alerts. This process will cost the account holder $35.

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