Tag Archives: Recording Industry Association of America

Copyright Alert System Hopes to Gently Reduce Illegal Downloading

Downloaders Beware!
Downloaders Beware!

It’s been about ten years since the entertainment industry tried to aggressively to end illegal downloading of movies, music and TV shows with huge lawsuits that attacked everyone from children to seniors, ending from time to time in huge monetary payouts.

Noting that the lawsuits had little effect on halting the copyright infringement which is still rampant, a new tactic is about to be launched on internet pirates who share their downloaded files. Anyone illegally sharing their files online will receive warning notices from their internet providers, telling them bluntly that they are in violation of federal laws prohibiting the copy and use of protected intellectual property. If the warnings go unheeded those in violation can be subjected to a 48-hour internet slowdown. Those who believe they are being falsely accused can file a protest, but it will cost them.

The hope is that the implementation of the Copyright Alert System, which uses warnings and education, will be enough to curb much of the abuse, while giving violators multiple chances to make amends will reduce the number of lawsuits.

“There’s a bunch of questions that need to be answered because there are ways that this could end up causing problems for Internet users,” such as the bureaucratic headache of being falsely accused, said David Sohn, general counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based civil liberties group. But he added: “There’s also the potential for this to have an impact in reducing piracy in ways that don’t carry a lot of collateral damage.”

The program begins this week, and is being implemented by the five biggest internet service providers in the country: Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Cablevision; plus two key organizations that represent the entertainment industry: the Motion Picture of America and the Recording Industry Association of America.