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Technology & Innovation

Internet Piracy: Six Strikes And You’re Out (Sort Of)

By the end of the year, the Copyright Alert System will be instituted by the nation's major ISPs with the backing of the US government.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

By the end of this year, major Internet service providers including AT&T and Comcast will institute the Copyright Alert System, which is designed to mitigate Internet piracy by using a “six strikes” rule. The strikes range from a simple e-mail alert to possible “temporary reductions of internet speeds, redirection to a landing page until the subscriber contacts the ISP to discuss the matter or reviews and responds to some educational information about copyright, or other measures” as deemed necessary by the ISP. Outright banning isn’t prescribed in the plan, but it’s still an available option to providers.

What’s the Big Idea?

The Center for Copyright Information is behind the system, which was four years in the making. It has the backing of the Obama administration as well as the movie and music industries. Executive director Jill Lesser says, “The goal was to come up with a program that was educational in nature, not with the intention of being punitive,” and that there was a grace period between each strike. Also, according to an advisor to the center, “each strike [represents] dozens or scores or hundreds of infringements.” Compared to other countries with similar laws, the Copyright Alert System is quite lenient.

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