After a series of delays, a system that wants to stop Internet users from sharing copyrighted content will soon roll out in the U.S.
Backed by major Internet service providers, the Copyright Alert System (CAS) will require the ISPs to warn and educate users if alerted by owners of copyrighted material, and even throttle Internet speeds after six warnings, popularly referred to as “six-strikes.”
The Center for Copyright Information (CCI), the organization behind CAS, said there will not be any monitoring of Internet traffic by ISPs, and content owners will do the identification of infringement on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks only. The CAS applies only to P2P networks and not to general Internet use, it added.
Subscribers will also not be blacklisted, and regardless of the number of notices they have received, these will end up cleared if the ISP does not receive notices of infringement for a continuous 12-month period.
The move by the CCI is likely to raise issues relating to privacy and the sharing and fair use of copyrighted material. “Just because content is copyrighted doesn’t mean sharing it is illegal,” online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a post on Monday. “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,” EFF said.
The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in P2P piracy, said Jill Lesser, executive director of CCI, in a blog post.
The members of CCI include five major Internet service providers — AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, and music and movie industries associations like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
“Over the course of the next several days our participating ISPs will begin rolling out the system,” Lesser said. Content partners will now begin to send notices of P2P copyright infringement to ISPs, and the ISPs will begin forwarding those notices in the form of copyright alerts to consumers, she added.