The Copyright Alert System is the latest of a long line of anti-piracy initiatives. It takes effect today and will affect a large portion of US internet users as AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, Comcast and Cablevision are participating members.
What is this system? It’s different from the previous ones where the ISPs policed their customers online behaviour. Instead, big media lobbyists like the RIAA and MPAA will patrol P2P filesharing networks and pass any identifying user information to the ISPs for action.
Previously legal action would be taken against any Internet users who engaged in illegal file sharing. Now under this new system a series of escalating actions will be taken depending on the number of offences committed by the user. Initial notifications will warn the user and redirect them to sources where they can obtain media legally. Further offences will result in actions ranging from throttled connection speeds to redirection of users to CAS websites, or termination of service after 6 strikes. Actions taken vary from ISP to ISP.
At first glance this seems like a step forward, no longer are Internet users sued by large groups for file sharing. This system does not completely rule out legal action however, so we’ll have to see what happens in the future. For those of you overseas, this system is only in the US for now, however it may very well spread to Europe, Australia and so on if it proves successful.