Is your Internet in trouble? Starting this week, a new structure called the United States national Copyright Alert System will grant content owners the ability to monitor peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing sites in order to track down their content and find out the infringers. Thanks to the cooperation of Internet service providers, your Internet could indeed be at risk of being slowed as punishment for pirating content.
So what does this all mean? Well basically, thanks to this new system, which was proposed in 2011, the organizations that you are stealing from are granted access to your Internet. The five Internet service providers (AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable) have all signed on for this project and are the link between you and the content owners (the R.I.A.A. and the M.P.A.A). If one of the content owners finds its content while monitoring a P2P service, then the Internet service provider steps in and gives your IP Address. An upside to this new development is that the content downloader is allotted 6 strikes before the punishment of a slowed Internet is inflicted. Alerts of each "strike" will start off as simple e-mails but then as they add up, the message becomes more apparent.
There will be no exchange of personal between the content owners and the ISPs unless required to do so by law, so the chance of actually being arrested for piracy is slim unless you have an incriminating amount. Also, slowing your Internet is the most that can happen to your service. ISPs are eager to take your money for using the Internet, so they will not shut it off. The weirdest part of this new system is that, after the 6 warnings, nothing really happens. You can definitely still get sued, but other than that, the messages will stop. Executive director of the CCI, Jill Lesser, said in an interview earlier this month:
We hope that by the time people get to alerts number five or six, they will stop. Once they've been mitigated, they've received several alerts, we're just not gonna send them any more alerts because they're not the kind of customer that we're going to reach with this program.
There is an appeals system for protesting these warnings if you so see fit, but it costs $35. That fee is waived if the accusation is found to be false. If you fail to prove the claim otherwise, you just now lost $35 and were proven to be in violation of infringement.
Does the punishment fit the crime? Do you think this will hinder illegal downloading? I don't. What do you think?