Copyright Alert System Coming
October 19, 2012

Copyright Alert System Coming To Internet Near You

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

The Center for Copyright Information said it would be rolling out its infringement warning platform "Copyright Alert System" in the coming weeks.

The Copyright Alert System (CAS) will be used to give Internet Service Providers (ISP) infringement notices of users that illegally download copyrighted material.

The initial notices will just be informational, but ISPs will be able to take extra action against repeat offenders.

Those who refuse to stop illegally downloading material will be dished out punishments according to their ISP's discretion. Punishments could include requiring the users to review "educational material," while others could see that their speed is throttled.

ISPs can even make a decision to terminate subscriptions on their own terms, although such terms are not written out in the CAS.

The Center for Copyright Information partnered with AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon to utilize their own version of the CAS.

The Copyright Alert System is able to detect illegally downloaded material through MarkMonitor, which is a "brand protection" company. Neither the Center for Copyright Information nor MarkMonitor are able to obtain personal customer information.

The goal of CAS is to inform customers rather than punish them, according to the Center for Copyright Information.

The organization said it is "designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again, and provide information about the growing number of ways to access digital content legally."

It said an important part of its preparation to implement CAS included asking consumers about their views on copyright and access content online.

"Consumers emphasized that they want more guidance on the 'rules of the road,' the organization said in a statement. "We´ve also worked hard to set up a program that is accurate, fair and protects consumer interests at every step in the process."

Another feature of the CAS is the ability for consumers to seek a review of alerts they believe were sent in error. However, this review will come with a $35 billing fee.

"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," the organization said in a statement.