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Content pirates, beware: ‘Six strikes’ plan launching

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Five major Internet service providers, striking a deal with the music and movie industries, today will launch a  program in which they’ll first warn, and then penalize, suspected copyright infringers.

TorrentFreak reports the so-called “six strikes” plan, managed by the Center for Copyright Information, includes AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. Legal action has not yet surfaced as one of the penalties. Instead, the emphasis is on education and, if necessary, a variety of restrictions on access for suspected violators.

The ISPs will focus on peer-to-peer systems, monitoring their networks for activity that may involve copyrighted material. After five or six suspected instances, the ISPs may take action. TorrentFreak says only three of the five have indicated what steps they’ll take:

We previously learned that AT&T will block users’ access to some of the most frequently visited websites on the Internet, until they complete a copyright course. Verizon will slow down the connection speeds of repeated pirates, and Time Warner Cable will temporarily interrupt people’s ability to browse the Internet.

It’s expected that the two remaining providers, Cablevison and Comcast, will take similar measures. None of the ISPs will permanently disconnect repeat infringers as part of the plan.

Suspected content pirates will be warned and set to the Center for Copyright Information’s new website, which provides information about the program and makes the argument that downloading copyrighted material without paying for it is wrong.

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According to a FAQ on the CCI site, violators won’t have their access cut off and there will be no “blacklist” of infringers. There’s also a process for those who believe a warning notice is in error:

If I believe I received an Alert in error is there a process to challenge the Alert?
Yes. The Copyright Alert System includes an opportunity to challenge Alerts once you reach the Mitigation stage, after receiving three, four, or five Alerts depending on their ISP. If you believe you have received one or more Alerts in error you may request an Independent Review administered by the American Arbitration Association within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the Mitigation Alert. There is a $35 filing fee, which may be waived if you meet affordability criteria. The fee will be refunded if your challenge is successful.

The plan is in coordination with the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, both of which have focused in the past on suing suspected infringers. This is a kinder, gentler approach. Whether it will be any more effective remains to be seen.

[Cross-posted from

Categories: Uncategorized
Dwight Silverman | Techblogger, social media manager

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