Six Strike System delayed once more
November 29, 2012

Six Strikes Copyright System Delayed Yet Again

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) was set to roll out a new platform which will punish Internet copyright infringers by the end of the year. Called the Copyright Alert System (CAS), this platform would implement a “six strikes” system whereby these offenders would be found and warned by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Through this system, these persistent pirates would face escalating punishments from their ISPs.

The plan was initially announced in July 2011 with a projected launch date of December. This rollout was then pushed back to July 2012 and then again to the end of 2012.

“Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules, CCI anticipates that the participating ISPs will begin sending alerts under the Copyright Alert System in the early part of 2013, rather than by the end of the year,” writes Jill Lesser in a CCI blog post.

The CCI was created as a partnership between ISPs such as a AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon. While CCI is officially blaming Superstorm Sandy for this delay, is saying they´ve heard another story.

According to their sources, it´s the ISPs who sent the CCI to push back the launch of CAS.

Getting all of the ISPs lined up and ready to begin implementing CAS has proved troublesome. Furthermore, not all of the ISPs are in agreement as to what should take place when the fourth strike is called against a copyright infringer.

AT&T has said they´ll block access to some frequently visited sites until the infringer completes a course about the importance of copyrights. Verizon has said they´ll throttle the bandwidth of those who are continually found to pirate copyrighted material, while Time Warner Cable has said that they´ll temporarily interrupt the infringer´s service. The other 2 ISPs have yet to say how they plan to punish these pirates, but it is expected they´ll take similar approaches.

Ideally, each strike is supposed to increase the pressure on the offending parties. After the sixth “strike” has been given, the ISPs can choose to cut off service to these users. While each strike is meant to increase the pressure, none of the strikes involve terminating a customer´s service. Those customers who feel they´ve been wrongly accused will be allowed to appeal the charges against them to an arbitration group.

Although it´s commonly referred to as a “Six Strike System,” Lesser has strayed away from this term, saying this platform should be seen as an educational venture rather than a means of punishment.

“It is not a six strikes program,” she said in a September interview. “This is an educational program; there are a series of educational alerts that will be sent out to subscribers,” she said, stressing that the system is primarily designed to guide online users to legal content.

As a part of CAS, the ISPs won´t be responsible for monitoring traffic to determine which users are involved in copyright infringement. A third-party service, MarkMonitor will be used to locate these violators. MarkMonitor will then serve this data up to the ISPs, who will then be responsible for contacting these customers themselves.

“We need to be sure that all of our “I”s are dotted and “T”s crossed before any company begins sending alerts,” concludes Lesser in the CCI blog post, “and we know that those who are following our progress will agree.”