ISP’s to Start Sending Out Copyright Notices
Announced last July and four years in the making, The Copyright Alert System is finally being implemented in order to warn and punish people who are violating digital copyrights.
AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner, and Verizon are among some of the companies who would send out some of the first notices to users over the next two months. However, the ISP’s appear to be just the messenger since it’s the copyright owners are the ones who are putting the real work in. They’re monitoring peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent using a service called MarkMonitor.
The service uses a combination of people and automated systems to spot illegal activity. It then collects the IP addresses of the offenders, but no personal information. The IP addresses are turned over to the ISP’s which match up the address with the right customer and then sends the notification.
For now, the warnings are just being used as a graduated response. ISP’s let the customer know that their connection is being used to download content illegally, and then the notice will include information on how to download content legally and encourage the user to do so. There will also be tips for securing internet connections, in case the user was unaware that their neighbor was downloading content using their unprotected wireless network.
The Center for Copyright Information (or CCI) said in it’s announcement today:
“The progressive series of alerts is designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again.”
After their brief education the customer is asked to acknowledge that they have received the warning. If they continue to download materials illegal the alerts threaten mild punishments such as forcing the copyright violator to read “educational” materials. The system can also throttle the connection until it’s a snail’s pace making it impossible to download large files. If a customer feels like they are being wrongly accused they may ask for a review at a cost of $35 dollars.
The entire system is being overseen by CCI, which includes content owners such as Disney, Sony Pictures, Fox, EMI, Universal, The MPAA, and the RIAA.
As of yet, there’s no claims that termination of service is one of the options for punishment.
Is this the beginning of the end nation? Will it be harder to download content using networks like BitTorrent? Or do you believe that as these measures are being created, so are the ways to get around them?