'Six Strikes' US copyright warning system to launch this year

The CCI To Play Softball With Pirates
The CCI To Play Softball With Pirates

The Center for Copyright Information is almost ready to play a mild game of softball with users who illegally download movies and music, and it's giving them "six strikes."

"It is not a six strikes program. This is an educational program," CCI Executive Director Jill Lesser told Ars Technica when the website asked about what is officially known as the Copyright Alert System.

"There are a series of educational alerts that will be sent out to subscribers."

Lesser's softer language reflects the center's new approach following the much mangliened Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA.

But many of the same players are involved: CCI is made up of the MPAA, RIAA and ISPs like AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

According to the center's website, the first two alerts will take the form of educational messages sent to alleged copyright infringers from their ISP. The MPAA and RIAA will be the ones flagging violators and passing their IPs on to the ISP.

Third and fourth time offenders will receive another set of alerts, but this time the messages will contain a read receipt - a click-through pop-up notice, landing page or similar mechanism. This ensures that the user is aware of the copyright alerts.

The fifth and sixth alerts are where messages stop and actions begin. ISPs may use "Mitigation Measures" to halt future copyright infringements, including temporarily slowing down their Internet speed or redirecting them to a landing page until the user contacts the ISP to "discuss the matter."

You're out after 'six strikes'

However, beyond the sixth alert the Copyright Alert System doesn't outline the next steps that a file-swapping users should expect. It's up to the ISPs and content owners to deal with those who are "out of the program."

The CCI clearly states that during the Copyright Alert System process, no personal information about Internet subscribers will be provided to content owners without a legal process and the subscriber's' express consent. They even make room for an independent review.

There is also no requirement for ISPs to terminate an Internet subscriber's account like the currently .

The Copyright Alert System, which was supposed to launch at the end of last year, is currently scheduled to go into effect before the end of this year.

Via PC World, Ars Technica

Matt Swider