What’s the Deal the New 6 Strike Copyright Alert System?

18 September 2012 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) claims that content theft cost America 373,000+ jobs, $16+ billion in lost wages, and $2.6+ billion in lost taxes, so the CCI proposes a new Copyright Alert System (CAS) with 6 alerts. CCI Member companies include:

  • Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (“MPAA”) and its members,
  • Recording Industry Association of America (“RIAA”) and its members,
  • 5 major ISPs – AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon,
  • Independent Film and Television Alliance, and
  • American Association of Independent Music

CCI’s website includes the following example of the Alerts of the CAS:

First Alert: In response to a notice from a copyright owner, an ISP will send an online alert to a subscriber, such as an email, notifying the subscriber that his/her account may have been misused or involved in copyright infringement. This first alert will also direct the subscriber to educational resources which will (i) help him/her to check the security of his/her computer and network, (ii) provide explanatory steps which will help to avoid copyright infringement in the future and (iii) provide information about the abundant legal sources of music, film and TV content. 

Second Alert: If the alleged activity persists despite the receipt of the first alert, the subscriber will get a second similar alert that will underscore the educational messages.

Third Alert: If the subscriber’s account again appears to have been used for copyright infringement, he/she will receive another alert, much like the initial alerts. However, this alert will provide a conspicuous mechanism (a click-through pop-up notice, landing page, or similar mechanism) requiring the subscriber to acknowledge receipt of this alert. This is designed to ensure that the subscriber is aware of the third copyright alert as well as the previous educational alerts.

Fourth Alert: If the subscriber’s account again appears to have been used for copyright infringement, the subscriber will receive yet another alert that again requires the subscriber to acknowledge receipt.

Fifth Alert: At this time, the ISP may take one of several steps, specified in its published policies and the alert itself, reasonably calculated to stop future copyright infringement. These steps, referred to as “Mitigation Measures,” may include, for example: temporary reductions of Internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures that the ISP may deem necessary to help resolve the matter. The ISP may decide to waive the Mitigation Measure at this point – but it would be applied if a further notice of copyright infringement associated with the same subscriber’s account is received.

Sixth Alert: If the subscriber’s account again appears to have been used for copyright infringement, the ISP will send another alert and will implement a Mitigation Measure as described above. As described above, it’s likely that very few subscribers who after having received multiple alerts, will persist (or allow others to persist) in the copyright infringement.

To get more perspective on CAS please read my good friend Erika Morphy’s recent eCommerce Times column entitled “6-Strike Copyright Warning System: Can You Hear Us Now?”

Given the RIAA and MPAA’s apparent failure to stem copyright infringement in the past it will be interesting to see if the new CAS will control infringement.

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