“6-Strikes” Copyrights Alert System Goes Live

“6-Strikes” Copyrights Alert System Goes Live

Graduated response system for addressing online copyright infringement begins.

Today marks the fateful implementation of the Copyright Alert System (CAS), a voluntary collaboration between the MPAA, RIAA, and ISPs to address online copyright infringement.

By working to “educate and notify Internet subscribers when their Internet service accounts possibly are being misused for online content theft,” copyright holders hope that infringers can be persuaded to use legal sources like Amazon or iTunes instead.

“I am pleased to announce that today marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the Copyright Alert System (CAS),” says the group’s executive director, Jill Lesser, in a press release.  “Implementation marks the culmination of many months of work on this groundbreaking and collaborative effort to curb online piracy and promote the lawful use of digital music, movies and TV shows. The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy and I am excited that our new website features information on the CAS, the Independent Review Process,copyrightP2P networks, and numerous consumer oriented legal sources for music, movies and television shows.”

So how doers the system work? Though there’s no mention of disconnection, users can expect a range of sanctions that include throttling, downgrade in Internet service tier, or connection lockout pending completion of online copyright education program.

Users have up to 14 calendar days after receiving a “mitigation alert” (aka strike) to file a request for an independent review of the allegation. It costs $35 to file (you may request a hardship waiver), and will be refunded if your challenge is successful.

Lesser addressed fears that the CAS would harm public Wi-Fi access points earlier this month, stressing that as “outlined and agreed to in the CCI Memorandum of Understanding, residential Internet accounts are the focus of our program.” She added that “business networks are not part of the CAS and will never be sent a Copyright Alert.”

As for whether the plan will actually work or not, it’s worth mentioning that there are a number of ways to circumvent the system.

How? It’s easy.

1. Usenet

One of the oldest computer networks around, it’s safe alternative to BitTorrent and regular P2P. Learn more in this guide here.

2. VPN

A VPN is a private network with “virtual” encrypted connections routed through the Internet to remote servers. The data traveling between you and those servers is encrypted, and the IP address that will appear will surfing or downloading content from the Internet will be that of the server and not your own.

Read my list of the “Top 5 Free VPN Services” for more information.

3. Stream Content

Instead of DOWNLOADING infringing material, simply stream it instead. Read these guides for more info: “Watch Tons of Your Favorite Movies On-Demand for FREE“; “How to Watch TV Online for Free.”

4. Download Content for Cyberlockers

Since this method involves you only communicating with the file-hosting service there’s no chance for third-party copyright monitoring of your activity.

 5. Upgrade to a Business Account

Since Lesser says that the CAS will only target residential customers becoming a business-grade customer ought to remove you from their prying eyes. Cheap? No, but effective? Yes.

Either way, there’s still no mention of what happens after 6 strikes and whether or not anybody will actually ever get disconnected, so the brave at heart could always try and ride the whole thing out.

Stay tuned.

[email protected] | @jaredmoya