Leading US internet service providers AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon, have all agreed to start using the Copyright Alert System (CAS). It is being described as the "six-strikes" campaign and involves informing and/or educating suspected "pirates".
The effort is being led by the Center for Copyright Information, which is representing the music and movie industries. Apparently it will be the media-content owners, sending out the notices of alleged peer-to-peer copyright infringement. According to the CCI, notices to ISPs will start going out in a few days. Alleged infringing users will in turn be sent alerts by their ISP i.e. not directly from the content owners.
Consumers whose accounts have been used to share copyrighted content over P2P networks illegally (or without authority) will receive alerts that are meant to educate rather than punish, and direct them to legal alternatives. And for those consumers who believe they received alerts in error, an easy-to-use process will be in place for them to seek independent review of the alerts they received.
-CCI executive director, Jill Lesser
Each internet service provider will have a different way of dealing with the situation. While their course of action isn't exactly clear at the moment, apparently no-one will have their internet access permanently cut-off. Also unknown is what each ISP plans to do, after all six "strikes".
The news comes at a time when -according to reports- worldwide music piracy is taking a dive, and global music revenues are actually going up, for the first time since 1999.