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ISPs Begin Testing Copyright Alert System

23 Oct, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

Major Internet service providers (ISPs), including AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon, will begin rolling out a new copyright violation alert system in the coming weeks, with violators who share copyrighted work over peer-to-peer networks expected to receive notification before the end of the year.

“Educational alerts will come first, followed by acknowledgement alerts that require the recipients to let their ISP know they have received the notices,” the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) said in a statement. “For accounts where alleged infringing activity continues, enhanced alerts that contain ‘mitigation measures’ will follow.”

Those mitigation measures could range from requiring Internet subscribers acknowledging they’ve reviewed educational materials, to a slow-down of Internet speeds. Termination of service is not currently part of the Copyright Alert System program. Alleged violators will receive progressively threatening notifications.

“Contrary to many erroneous reports, this is not a ‘six-strikes-and-you’re-out’ system that would result in termination,” CCI said in a statement. “There's no strikeout’ in this program.”

CCI has hired online brand protection company MarkMonitor to identify alleged infringement over peer-to-peer networks.

Users who feel they’ve been wrongly targeted can make their case via an independent review program operated by the American Arbitration Association.

“We have worked to understand the best ways to help consumers move away from illegal use of peer-to-peer networks and embrace the ever-increasing ways to enjoy digital content both online and off,” CCI said in the statement. “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that the system is thorough and consumer friendly. We think we’ve achieved that goal, and we’re ready to begin this next phase.”

The initiative was first announced in mid-2011, and also has the support of the Motion Picture Association of America, the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the Recording Industry Association of America and The American Association of Independent Music.

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