Top American Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are finally trying to get their act right against piracy. Illegal peer-to-peer sharing of movies, music, or files carrying a copyright will come to an end, if all goes well with the Copyright Alert System, launched by the Center for Copyright Information. Five top ISPs – AT&T, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast – have already signed up for the program. The violators will be warned through a policy that has become famous as the “six strikes”.
The procedure is simple: violators will be given six chances to reform themselves. Here’s how the six strikes plan works: If illegal file-sharing of copyrighted material by a consumer is detected, then he/she will be issued two warnings via emails. These mails will educate the person concerned about the illegality he/she is committing. If the illegal activity continues despite these educative mails, the person in the wrong will be given two more warnings. This time, he/she would have to acknowledge receipt of the warning. If the violator still persists with his/her illegal activity, ISPs may decelerate his Internet speed, or suspend his account, or ask him to look for a new service provider. Those who think they may come under the scanner for no fault of theirs can always file an appeal.
So, have the ISPs hit a home run? It’s too early to say. The anti-piracy match has just begun.
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