'Six strikes' anti-piracy law pushed back to 2013

The Copyright Alert System has been delayed yet again

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) delayed the launch of its new Copyright Alert System for a third time on Thursday.

Now the CCI plans to launch what many have nicknamed the "six strikes" program in early 2013, after Hurricane Sandy caused some delays in the final testing stages.

"Due to unexpected factors largely stemming from Hurricane Sandy which have seriously affected our final testing schedules," wrote CCI's executive director Jill Lesser in a blog post, "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."

Six warnings, then what?

The CCI is an organization made up of Hollywood rights holders the MPAA and RIAA, and internet service providers (ISP) AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

The goal of CCI is to provide a series of educational alerts to offending persons, with the alerts intended to "educate consumers about copyright and peer-to-peer networks, encourage the use of legal alternatives [and] safeguard customer privacy."

Escalating in severity every two alerts, the first stage elicits alert messages from ISPs to the users, with the second stage enacts a pop-up window (or other similar read receipt) to ensure the party is aware of the violation.

The final stage (alerts five and six) allows the ISP to slow or even stop service to the offending customer, but terminated service is not a mandate of the system.

For any offenses beyond the sixth, there are currently no plans listed by the CCI for subsequent alerts, warnings or punishments.

When the CCI actually launches the program, we may have a better idea of what to expect, but as of now, perhaps it's best Lesser and Co. continue to make sure "'I's are dotted and 'T's crossed" before kicking things off.