If you engage in online file sharing, you could soon be the recipient of a stern warning! The new Copyright Alert System is a collaboration between Internet Service Providers and content owners. Content owners search file sharing sites for infringing content and then notify the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) when they find infringing content. The ISP, in turn, sends the infringing user a warning. Harmless so far. But get six such warnings and providers will take actions–or “mitigation measures”– such as throttling you internet speed. Wrongly accused? Worry not! For $35 you can appeal the decision (reimbursed if you prevail). So read this AP article while you still have that lightning-fast internet speed and watch this video that explains it all. Happy (legal) browsing!
ISPs are extremely appealing candidates in this regard, since they can disconnect users from the Internet. Using ISPs can prevent repeated infringements and deter new ones. The music industry lobbied aggressively in various countries to enact a law that will force ISPs to disconnect repeated infringers from the Internet. The BRI, which represents the British record industry, has almost succeeded in passing such legislation in Britain, as the British government had seriously intended to compel internet companies to cut off customers who ignore warnings not to download music and video files illegally.
However, an interview with The Times with Mr. David Lammy, the British Intellectual Property Minister, revealed that the Government had ruled out creating a law. He questioned whether such a law can actually be possible.
While the music industry expressed disappointment of the reverse turn, ISPs--who consistently objected the heavy hand of the legislator being involved in their business--expressed satisfaction, saying that it is impossible to attract people to use the Internet and at the same time to scare them away.
Seven million British share files illegally every year, and the damage to the industry is said by the industry to amount to £180million a year.