New 'Copyright Alert System' To Prevent Illegal Downloading Goes On Line

(AllHipHop News) Nearly fifteen years after the file sharing program Napster forever changed the way music is consumed, the entertainment industry hopes they have finally found an effective method to slow down U.S. citizens from illegally downloading copyrighted material.

This week internet service providers (ISP) AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon launched the Copyright Alert System or "Six Strikes". Instead of going after the pirates who uploaded the material, the new program seeks to stop the downloaders by "educating" the offender on the copyright infringement laws.

The program is known as "Six Strikes" because the internet subscriber that engages in downloading the illegal files will see graduated responses every time they attempt to pirate copyrighted works. For the first "strike," the internet provider will send a notice that explains to the customer that they are participating in an illegal activity and provides ways to consume the content legally.

Each time the internet account holder is accused of pirating illegal content they face a more severe "Copyright Alert." While consumers will not have to worry about legal measures like lawsuits, arrests, or fines, eventually the ISP could decrease the subscriber's internet speed or redirect the connection to a landing page until the accused illegal downloader completes a "copyright education program."

There will be an independent review system that allows subscribers who believe they received unwarranted alerts to challenge their inclusion in "Six Strikes."

"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," wrote Jill Lesser, executive director for the Center for Copyright Information, in a blog post. "The CAS marks a new way to reach consumers who may be engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) piracy."

The CAS also puts a lot of the responsibility on the content creator themselves to prevent their intellectual property from being shared online. Artists and entertainment companies will have to join P2P networks to see if their copyright is being violated. They would then have to notify the Internet Service Provider, and then the ISP contacts the individual with a Copyright Alert.

Cyberlockers, Dropbox folders, and e-mail attachments will not be including in the Copyright Alert System.

Watch a video about the new Copyright Alert System below.