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ISPs Will Not Enforce "Six Strike Rule", Instead To Begin Enacting The "Copyright Alert System"

A few weeks ago, we reported on a new "six strike rule" that internet service providers were looking to enact. The idea would be that users who download copyrighted content illegaly would get four strikes and then their internet would be either slowed down, and then after another two strikes, it would be discontinued. Turns out that wasn't entirely accurate. The Center For Copyright Information released a statement a few days ago that they will be initiating the "Copyright Alert System."

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Bosslady Jill Lesse made it clear that there is no six strike system:

“Contrary to many erroneous reports, this is not a ‘six-strikes-and-you’re-out’ system that would result in termination,” writes Lesser. “There’s no ‘strikeout’ in this program.” Instead, ISPs will decide their own mitigation measures, which may include slowing down customers’ broadband connections.”

So what is a the "Copyright Alert System", you ask? Well, in this lengthy post, they very nicely explain it:

Over the course of the next two months, each participating ISP expects to begin rolling out its version of the [Copyright Alert System] – a system through which ISPs will pass on to their subscribers notices sent by content owners alleging copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks. Educational alerts will come first, followed by acknowledgement alerts that require the recipients to let their ISP know they have received the notices. For accounts where alleged infringing activity continues, enhanced alerts that contain “mitigation measures” will follow. These mitigation measures will vary by ISP and range from requiring the subscriber to review educational materials, to a temporary slow-down of Internet access speed. However, termination of a consumer’s Internet service is not a part of any ISP’s Copyright Alert System program.

What if you get an alert in error? If you have your WiFi network open and somebody leeches off your internet to download the newest episode of Game of Thrones, you would get penalized for it. Don't worry, they're on it:

Another significant feature of the CAS is the ability of consumers to seek review of alerts they believe were sent in error. Content owners and ISPs want the system to be accurate. And we have established a fair and transparent process to correct errors should they occur. To do this, CCI developed an independent review program to be operated by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). AAA is a highly respected, neutral organization with deep experience in administering similar programs. The review system will allow consumers to ask a trained, impartial professional at AAA to review alerts fairly and confidentially, while honoring their expectation of privacy.

Overall, I guess this is a start. I'm happy they are not doing the silly six-strike policy, but overall, I feel like this is just putting a bandage on a severely opened wound. Whoever gets caught will find another way around it, whether it's through VPN services or another internet provider. Can illegal downloading ever be stopped?

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